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US, Philippine Army Launch Operations Center for Joint Pacific Exercise

The US and Philippine armies have inaugurated an operations center at Fort Magsaysay, Central Luzon to support the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center-Exportable (JPMRC-X).

JPMRC-X is a rotational deployment approach to upskill American warfighters in varying conditions across the Indo-Pacific region. It will coincide with this year’s iteration of Exercise Salaknib, an annual bilateral training with Manila’s troops, from June 1 to 10.

According to the US Army, the operations center will facilitate real-time planning, information exchange, and execution of military operations for JPMRC-X participants.

The hub will incorporate data aggregated from trainers, observers, and sensors located throughout training fields.

“The Joint Operations Center is really the base level of how we control the exercise,” JPMRC-X Lead Planner US Army Capt. Miguel Menjivar stated.

“Everything happening in the training area is monitored within the [Joint Operations Center].”

U.S. and Philippines Army soldiers work in the Joint Operations Center during the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center-Exportable (JPMRC-X) exercise on Fort Magsaysay, Philippines, 31 May 2024. This iteration of JPMRC-X marks the first deployment to the Philippines, which will enable and assist the Philippines Army and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in building combat training center locations within the Philippines. The JPMRC-X is a Department of the Army initiative consisting of a deployable package of personnel and equipment designed to support training exercises across the Pacific. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Tommie Berry)
U.S. and Philippines Army soldiers work in a Joint Operations Center. Photo: Staff Sgt. Tommie Berry/US Army National Guard

‘Realistic’ Training

The US Army wrote that the JPMRC-X offers realistic scenarios and contingency simulations, boosting the readiness and capabilities of the service and its Filipino counterparts.

During its run, the event is expected to deliver seamless cooperation between the armies for missions in diverse environments.

“We have all of our Philippine partners alongside us to work on interoperability,” Menjivar said “It allows us to hone in on what we can provide and do with our allied partners.”

“Training with our allied partners really allows us to test our systems and enables us to rely on them in the future. There are certain challenges we are learning now that we don’t want to be learning when we’re in an actual firefight.”

Rehearsals Underway

Before the operations center announcement, the US and Philippine Army soldiers began a combined arms rehearsal for the JPMRC-X and Salaknib Exercise.

The rehearsal is considered a vital phase of the military exercise programs to “ensure operations go to plan and ensure all those participating in the mission are on the same page.”

Preparations under this stage involve coordinating maneuvers, tactics refinement, logistics, and medical care.

“JPMRC is founded on the principles of learning how to fight, teaching how to train, and creating readiness,” a statement from the US Army said.

“The program simulates combat scenarios by emphasizing every aspect of warfighting. [combined arms rehearsals] are an integral part of training that brings the exercise to life.”

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