Hawaii National Guard in Philippines for training with first responders

The United States Embassy in Manila said on Monday that members of the Hawaii National Guard are in the Cebu province of the Phillipines for urban search and rescue training alongside Philippine disaster response teams.

The 10-day training course, which began on March 3, includes more than 100 members from the National Guard, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine Red Cross, the Emergency Response Unit Foundation and the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. The training program was conducted at Camp Lapu-Lapu in Cebu province, according to GMA News Online.

"The training, a US&R subject matter expert exchange, involves basic and advanced practical application in rope rescue, confined space operations, shoring, medical search and extraction, lifting and hauling, and breaching and breaking," an embassy spokesperson said, GMA News Online reports.

The training included groups responding to simulated natural and man-made disasters, and was meant to familiarize the AFP and local emergency responders with search and rescue procedures, as well as common and updated triage practices, according to GMA News Online.

The Hawaii National Guard are expected to return to the Philippines in May for annual Balikatan military training and scenario-based search and rescue field exercises.