Troops to deliver 14 donated ambulances to Philippines
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Fourteen ambulances donated by a nonprofit organization in Seattle are on their way to hospitals in the southern Philippines, thanks to servicemembers taking part in ongoing exercises with the Philippines military.
The Okinawa-based Marines and sailors with the 3rd Expeditionary Brigade were to conduct two weeks of Jungle Environment Survival training at Ft. Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija, beginning Thursday.
Marine spokesman Capt. Burrell Parmer said about 7,000 U.S. and Philippine troops are taking part in jungle survival training, martial arts, live-fire drills, close air support and civil-military operations in their training areas in Luzon and Palawan.
They’ll also do community outreach to civilians near the training areas, Parmer said, including facilitating the ambulance deliveries. Four of the vehicles donated by the 3P Foundation were loaded onto the USS Harpers Ferry at the Subic Bay Freeport on Wednesday along with Marines bound for the annual bilateral exercise in the southern Philippines.
“These ambulances are part of a shipment of 14 donated by the foundation,” Parmer said. The 3P Foundation’s name stands for “Promotion of Peace and Prosperity Foundation.”
The foundation bought the ambulances from the state of Massachusetts and shipped them to Manila in September.
“Since then they have undergone preventative maintenance and have been repainted,” Parmer said in a phone interview Wednesday.
“These five ambulances, which will be distributed in coordination with the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines, are destined for Zamboanga, Jolo and Tawi Tawi.
“They will be turned over in a formal ceremony later this year,” he said. “The other ambulances will be distributed by the foundation to other provinces throughout the country.”
The foundation also is delivering a container of medical equipment to southern Philippines hospitals, according to the foundation’s Web site, www.3pf.us
Meanwhile, in Pampanga, Marines and sailors of Marine Aircraft Group 36 will distribute donations of computers, school books, pencils and paper, tents for scouting and clothing to a local elementary school. A similar project took place in the village of Macapagal on Tuesday.