Balikatan soldiers build classrooms in Tarlac, Nueva Ecija
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO— Philippine and American military officials leading large-scale Balikatan exercises, turned over two classroom buildings to the Department of Education in Nueva Ecija and Tarlac on Wednesday .
Balikatan soldiers constructed the buildings for the Cabu Elementary School in Barangay Cabu, Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija, and for the Kalangitan Elementary School in the Aeta community of Kalangitan Village in Capa, Tarlac.
Maj. Gen. Felimon Santos Jr., head of the Philippine Army’s 7th Infantry Division, one of the participating units in Balikatan 2018, said school buildings were also built in Cagayan and Isabela.
Those who graced the turnover rites included Maj. Gen. Herminigildo Francisco Aquino, assistant exercise director; United States Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, head of III Marine Expeditionary Forces; Lt. Col. Soulynamma Pharathikoune, commander of the 9th ESB of the US Marines; and Col. Rommel Hinlo, deputy chief engineer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Balikatan 2018 began on May 7 in Fort Magsaysay in Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija, where the 7th ID is based.
Balikatan officials said the military exercises were intended to “enhance interoperability and advance regional security cooperation.” /vvp