Commandos from the elite Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) will join the Balikatan military exercises with the US, which begin tomorrow.

SAF director Maj. Gen. Bernard Banac said Friday night that 156 SAF commandos are set to participate in the 39th iteration of the joint drills, which will last until May 10.

As the rapid deployment force of the PNP, Banac said SAF is seeking to strengthen interoperability, collaboration and coordination with the country's allies.

'The annual event would provide SAF an opportunity to observe, learn and gain experience on all-domain operations,' Banac said in a statement.

The participation of SAF troopers in Balikatan is expected to enhance the unit's command control and cybersecurity capabilities.

Ahead of the Balikatan, the SAF enhanced its local training in rapid deployment by opening a basic airborne course class in Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna last April 11

Apart from the PNP, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will also join the military exercises, sending six of its vessels for a humanitarian armed service role in the 16-day drill.

Members of the PCG would also be engaging in interoperability exercises with the Philippine Navy and their counterparts from the US, Australia and France.

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