The 36th Contingency Response Group recently left Andersen AFB, Guam, to participate in this year’s Balikatan 06 exercise, scheduled to run from Feb. 20 to March 5. Balikatan, a Tagalog word for “shouldering the load together,” is a yearly bilateral exercise between Philippine and US forces that began 22 years ago. Air Force participants include the 36th CRG, the 291st and 293rd Expeditionary Combat Communications Flights, the 31st and 33rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadrons, and the 36th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron.
A majority of panelists convened by the Atlantic Council to assess the situation in Ukraine believe that Russia will have enough forces—and recent practice in Belarus—to invade Ukraine within a month. A senior Air Force official concurred, saying the service expects the conflict soon.