TARLAKENYO (April 11, 2023) — The Philippine Navy landing ship named after the province of Tarlac joined the largest staging of the annual Balikatan exercises in 30 years today.
BRP Tarlac is the lead ship of her class of landing platform docks and is the second ship named after the province, one of the provinces considered to have had significant involvement in the Philippine revolution for independence against Spain.
A total of 17,711 soldiers are participating, including 12,200 American troops, 5,400 Filipino soldiers, and 111 Australian Defense Forces. Other allied countries, including Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, India, France, and some ASEAN nations, have been invited as observers to the war games.
The military exercises started just as China was set to conclude its own military drills around Taiwan.
BRP Tarlac will prominently participate in the exercises as the multinational participants practice amphibious landings off various beaches in the country.
Yesterday, the Philippines identified the locations of the four new Philippine military bases that the US military has been given access to – Balabac Island in Palawan; Naval Base Camilo Osias in Santa Ana, Cagayan province; Lal-lo Airport in Cagayan; and Camp Melchor Dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela.