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PIA Press Release

NOLCOM readies troops for Balikatan 2011

San Fernando City, Pampanga (15 September) -- Lieutenant General Gaudencio Pangilinan is making sure that the forthcoming RP-US Exercise Balikatan 2011 that will be held in the area of responsibility of the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) next year will be as successful as past joint exercises.

With the help of a mobile training team from the general headquarters, some AFP field officers assigned in units under the operational command and control of NOLCOM are currently undergoing a Joint and Combined Operations Course (JCOC) at the Officers' Club here. The student officers are expected to finish the 10-day course on September 17.

According to Colonel Gerard Velez, Civil-Military Operations Chief of NOLCOM the objective of JCOC is to enhance their knowledge regarding joint operation planning process and familiarize the students with the current AFP programs, processes, systems and policies. The training team underscored the importance of interoperability which is really the key in a joint or combined operations be it with the locals, like the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) or foreign forces.

Designated subject matter experts discussed AFP Joint Doctrines and Fundamentals of Joint Operations, War gaming, Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), Logistics and Fire Support Planning, Rules of Engagement, AFP reservists mobilization and organization protocols, among others. The last three day of training are dedicated to Command Post Exercises which will be held right here at NOLCOM Headquarters.

Completion of this course is a plus factor for any officer who shall be assigned to unified commands like NOLCOM and joint task forces at any time in their military career.

NOLCOM Spokesman Major Rosendo Armas said a US Survey team accompanied by their AFP counterparts paid courtesy call on Lieutenant General Pangilinan on Monday to discuss their scheduled ocular site inspection in selected areas in Northern and Central Luzon.

Aside from Crow Valley and Mayantoc, Tarlac, the team targets San Marcelino, San Antonio and Subic, Zambales, Guagua and Angeles City in Pampanga, and Fort Magsaysay in Palayan City. Outside NOLCOM area, the sites to be inspected are Quezon City, Makati City, Ternate and Sangley Point, Cavite, and Cebu City.

It can be recalled that early this year, the US Air Force's Pacific Angel and AFP troops conducted a very successful Balikatan 2010 exercise in Ithe country. Their humanitarian and civic assistance programs particularly their engineering activities (construction of classrooms, flood control facility and health center) benefited thousands of residents in two towns of locos Sur which was truly appreciated by the residents. (NOLCOM thru PIA 3) [top]

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