Japan Ground Self-Defense Force's participation in the exercise KAMANDAG5-2021


On September 28 - October 8, 2021, the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) conducted a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) training with the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) at Naval Station Leovigildo Gantioqui, San Antonio, Zambales. This is a part of KAMANDAG5-2021 (“Kaagapay ng mga Mandirigma mula sa Dagat”), an annual joint exercise between the PMC and US Marine Corps.
The JGSDF deployed a 25-personnel training unit from the Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade and other units, along with HA/DR Equipment from Japan, to be part of the exercise. Upon deployment, they strictly observed all COVID-19 health and safety guidelines and quarantine rules set by the Philippine Government, particularly the protocols from the IATF- EID.
This is the JGSDF’s fourth participation to the Exercise KAMANDAG, and the third in the said exercise’s HA/DR Training.
During the KAMANDAG opening ceremony, Major KAMIAKITO Yasutomo, JGSDF training unit commander emphasized the importance of the exercise for Japan and the Philippines. He noted that “both Japan and the Philippines are prone to natural disasters such as earthquake, typhoon and flood. “ Joint training in improving capabilities and knowledge sharing, he added, are vital efforts in addressing our common experiences with natural disasters. In addition, Major General Ariel Caculitan, Commandant of PMC highlighted the responsibility and preparedness of the military as “First Responders” in addressing disaster relief.
Japan reiterated the importance of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific that is inclusive and based on the rule of law, democratic values, territorial integrity, transparency, and peaceful resolution of disputes. Japan also underscored its intention to work together with the Philippines, US, and other partner countries through a wide range of activities and cooperation for peace, stability, and prosperity in our regions and beyond.
Back in 2013, the Japan Ministry of Defense and the Japan Self-Defense Forces deployed in total of 1,180 personnel, three vessels, and sixteen aircraft for medical assistance and relief supplies in the areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.