090421-N-0120A-044 SOUTH CHINA SEA (April 21, 2009) The Armed Forces of the Philippines Navy patrol boat BRP Leopoldo Regis (PG-847) maneuvers into position at the head of a formation exercise with the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) during exercise Balikatan 2009. Leopoldo Regis is participating in Balikatan 2009, an annual combined, joint-bilateral exercise involving U.S. and Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel, as well as subject matter experts from Philippine civil defense agencies. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mark R. Alvarez/Released)
PHILIPPINES SEA (April 21, 2009) – The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) leads ships formation during photo exercise (PHOTOEX) with Philippines Navy ships BRP Rajah Humabon (PF 11), BRP Leopoldo Regis (PG 847)
, BRP Dagupan City (LC 551), BRP Artemio Ricarte (PS 37), and U.S. Navy ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46) (not included in the picture), during Balikatan 2009 (BK09), 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. BK09 is the 25th in the series of these exercises, directed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and requested by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. Essex, commanded by Capt. Brent Canady, is the lead ship of the Navy's only forward-deployed Amphibious Ready Group and serves as the flagship for CTF 76.