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Apr 1, 2019

From left, Armed Forces of the Philippines Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, commander, Southern Luzon Command, and Philippine Exercise Co-Director; Undersecretary Cardozo M. Luna, Undersecretary of the Department of National Defense; Sung Y. Kim, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines; Armed Forces of the Philippines Gen. Benjamin Madrigal, Jr., AFP Chief of Staff; and U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. Christopher A. McPhillips, commanding general, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade stand shoulder-to-shoulder at Tejeros Hall, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Manila, Philippines, April 1, 2019. The ceremony represented the official commencement of Balikatan 2019 and the continued partnership between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines. Balikatan 19, in its 35th iteration, is an annual U.S.-Philippine military training focused on a variety of missions, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counterterrorism, and other combined military operations held from April 1 to April 12.

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