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By: Victor Baldemor Ruiz

FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City— The Philippine Army, through the Army Artillery Regiment, participated in the Combined Arms Live-Fire Exercise (CALFEX) as part of the AFP Joint Exercise Dagat-Langit-Lupa (AJEX DAGITPA) in Burgos, Ilocos Norte.

The simulated exercise featured the new artillery assets of the Philippine Army, such as the ATMOS 2000PMC and M119 105mm Howitzer. The ATMOS 2000 is a self-propelled howitzer (SPH) that offers the advantages of superior firepower, enhanced mobility, and rapid response time, while the M119 Howitzer is a lightweight 105mm howitzer that provides direct and indirect fire support to the forces deployed in combined arms operations.

The CALFEX highlights the interoperability of the AFP’s different services in addressing evolving security threats using combined forces and military assets for territorial defense, as witnessed by the Northern Luzon Command.

LTGEN Fernyk G Buca PAF, Commander of Northern Luzon Command witnessed the Joint Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise (CALFEX) at the Headquarters, 4th Marine Brigade, Camp Cape Bojeador, Burgos, Ilocos Norte.

The CALFEX showcased a myriad of military capabilities, focusing on high-sniping and close air support. Utilizing advanced weaponry, such as the AW109 Rocket for close air support and the ATMOS 155mm Howitzer and 105mm Howitzer for firing battery.

According to Ltgen Buca, the exercise’s concept of operation aimed at developing our conventional forces, integrating the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Forces in the conduct of Joint Military operations.

Key objectives included enhancing combat readiness for Territorial Defense, conducting Joint Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance to pinpoint enemy locations, facilitating rapid communication of intelligence to ground forces. Additionally, the exercise also incorporated Aero-medical evacuation operations.

The end state of the exercise envisions the synchronization and integration of joint forces, ensuring heightened readiness for conducting Joint Urban Operations as an integral aspect of Territorial Defense.

Utilizing an array of military assets, including the Philippine Army M119 Howitzer, Philippine Army ATMOS 2000PMC, Philippine Marine Corps Soltan M71 Howitzer, Philippine Marine Corps M119 Howitzer, Philippine Air Force A-29B Super Tucano, Philippine Air Force Agusta Westland 109, and the Philippine Air Force Hermes 900, the AFP demonstrated its capabilities in executing seamless and effective joint operations.

According to LTGEN BUCA, “the primary aim of this exercise was to rigorously test and enhance the AFP’s maneuver warfare skills while fortifying their capabilities for seamless engagement in joint operations as the event marked a crucial step in ensuring the military’s preparedness and effectiveness in facing evolving security challenges.”

Distinguished guests, including General Romeo S Brawner Jr, Chief of Staff, AFP, witnessed and evaluated the effectiveness of the joint operations. Other ranking AFP officials, local government officials and stakeholders also attended the event as a show of their support to the said military exercise.


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