RIZAL, Palawan - The Philippines-Australia (PH-Aus) Exercise Alon 2023 conducted an Air Assault Exercise at Punta Baja in Rizal, Palawan on August 21, 2023.
This marked the first major training serial as part of the bilateral cooperation between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as part of the latter’s Indo-Pacific Endeavour (IPE) activities for 2023.
The exercise involved coordinated air, land and sea actions to simulate realistic combat scenarios, enhancing the forces’ preparedness and operational readiness.
The Palawan Air Assault involved the insertion of ground combat elements via MV-22B Osprey from Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D), launched from HMAS Canberra to the Punta Baja Airfield on August 20, 2023. The Helicopter Assault Force established a link with the 3rd Marine Brigade to secure the Punta Baja Airfield, and set-up a Forward Arming and Refueling Point.
On August 21, 2023, a joint raid was conducted at Tarumpitao Airfield by the combined forces of the AFP, ADF and USMC, with close air support provided by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F-35A Lightning II aircraft.
The exfiltration on August 22, 2023, involved the force leaving Tarampitao Airfield via MV-22B tiltrotor aircraft and returning to HMAS Canberra.
The exercise involved 175 troops from the AFP and two platoons from the ADF, with support from the USMC, as well as a Philippine Marine Corps ground-based security force. Naval assets HMA ships Canberra and Anzac, and air support by USMC MV-22B, and RAAF aircraft.
IPE23 serves as Australia’s flagship international engagement activity in the Southeast Asian and Indian Ocean regions. Aiming to promote security, stability, and stronger partnerships through bilateral and multilateral engagement, training, capacity building, and humanitarian efforts.
Exercise Alon 2023 marks the first bilateral amphibious exercise between Australia and the Philippines, aimed at enhancing interoperability and enabling the forces to share tactics, techniques, procedures, and best practices in the conduct of amphibious operations./// (Photos and Captions by ADF)