Balikatan 2011 COMREL - The Gift of Giving|
By Tech Sgt. Elicia Summerville
United States servicemembers joined members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines April 8, 2011, in making donations to four villages in the Tarlac region of the Philippines as a show of good will during exercise Balikatan 2011. U.S. servicemembers with the help of their Armed Forces of the Philippines, or AFP, counterparts identified six Barangays (villages), that were in need of some support. The U.S. forces collected donated material and with the help of the AFP passed out 39 goodwill boxes consisting of clothes, toys, bedding, towels and house wares to each of the Barangays.
Balikatan 2011 marks the 27th anniversary of the annual combined, joint bilateral exercise between the AFP and the U. S.military. The exercise includes humanitarian assistance and training activities that enable the service members of both countries to train together, improve readiness, and provide help to local communities.