Balikatan 2009
11 Nov 2013|


A U.S. Navy CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopter, assigned to the Air Combat Element of the U.S. Marine Corps 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, lands on the flight deck of the forward deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) in the South China Sea on April 13, 2009. Also a landing craft utility vehicle approaches the Essexís well deck. The Essex has been invited by the Republic of the Philippines to participate in Balikatan 2009, which is an annual combined, joint-bilateral exercise involving U.S. military and Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel as well as subject matter experts from Philippine civil defense agencies.

DoD photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark R. Alvarez, U.S. Navy. (Released)