The Philippines-Australia Army to Army exercises dubbed 'Kasangga' 01-2024 started Monday at the 5th Infantry "Star" Division (5ID) headquarters, in Camp Melchor Dela Cruz in Barangay Upi, Gamu town in Isabela.

"Kasangga" 01-2024, set to conclude on June 21, 2024, seeks to enhance the capabilities of both forces in jungle and urban operations, breaching operations, tactical casualty care, jungle survival training, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.

It also includes the sharing of experiences between the 5ID and the Australia Defense Force (ADF) troops in combating terrorist groups.

"Kasangga" 01-2024 was opened by 5th ID Assistant Division Commander, Brig. Gen. Santiago Enginco with Major Michael Cracknell of the Joint Australian Training Team- Philippines (JATT-P) Coordinator of the Australian Embassy Manila and Major Lindsay Pritchard, 1st Battalion Commanding Officer represented the Australian Army contingent.

Enginco believes that 'Kasangga' will strengthen the ties not only between the Philippines and Australia but also between the Philippine Army and the Australian Defense Force.

He thanked the Philippine Army leadership and the Department of National Defense for the opportunity as he emphasized the significant benefits of the training.

"Not only in strengthening relations with the Australians but also in gaining knowledge and experience from them," Enginco said.

"This training also allows the Startroopers to work alongside their foreign army counterparts in enhancing capabilities to ensure security against future threats," he added.

The Australian Defense Force contingent consists of 50 personnel from the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Australian Army while the Philippine Army contingent comprises 100 from the 86th Infantry Battalion of the 5th Infantry Division.

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