NAVAL BASE SANGLEY POINT, Republic of
the Philippines (NNS) -- Flash Piston, a Joint
Combined Exchange Training (JCET) program June 9-29
sponsored by the Joint Special Operations Task Force
Philippines, allowed U.S. Special Operations Forces
(SOF) to share highly specialized training with
their Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)
counterparts. The program concluded at Philippine
Naval Base Sangley Point.
U.S. SOF including SEALs, special warfare combatant
crewmen, special forces Soldiers and explosive
ordnance disposal team members with approximately 50
personnel from Philippine Naval Special Operations
Group conducted the exercise.
The 18-day JCET exercise, involved a full scope of
SOF capabilities, including assault tactics and
small boat operations. U.S. SOF members trained the
AFP Sailors in tactical combat care and medical and
According to a U.S. special boat operator, the
captain of an 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boat,
the training brought the AFP SOF Sailors to a higher
level of operating in a boat unit.
"The goal was to bring them to a point where they
could successfully carry out a boat unit mission
without any outside assistance," he said. "By the
end of the exercise, it was easy to see the marked
improvements in their maritime capabilities and that
they were ready to operate as a fully capable unit."
The AFP SOF Sailors trained in a wide range of
specialized maritime operations and small-boat unit
tactics, including the use of navigational aids,
boat handling, marksmanship, formation driving,
beach assaults, mission planning and preparation and
small boat outboard motor maintenance.
The final phase of Flash Piston included a field
exercise, where the Sailors practiced assaults on
enemy targets and held a shooting competition.
"While the principal purpose of the exercise was to
help the AFP enhance their capabilities, it also
helped us [U.S. SOF] meet our training requirements
and build on the relationship we have with
Philippine Navy," said the special boat operator.
The United States and Philippines often conduct
training and activities that include combined
exercises, subject matter expert exchanges, security
assistance activities and workshops, all of which
strengthen their capabilities and alliance.
For more news from Naval Special Warfare, visit