The Philippines and the United States concluded an eight-day counter-terrorism drill in the Philippines and Hawaii called Tempest Wind 2017.

“It is now necessary, more than ever, that all countries come together to unite against terrorism and violent extremism. The global war on terror cannot succeed if we do not explore avenues for cooperation and mutual exchanges,” said Philippine’s Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during a press conference in Manila.

The operation sought to create realistic aircraft hijacking and hostage-taking scenarios to train both personnel on the frontline and agency leaders and officers operating from a control center.

“[Tempest Wind 2017] is primarily a test of our incident command system, management structures, and protocols to be used in the event of an incident that involves our countries. Coordination is very important,” said Philippines Department of National Defense Spokesperson Arsenio Andolong.

This exercise has been evolving over the past few months, providing an opportunity for both governments to strengthen their coordination when approaching crises.

“As a community of nations, we must all do our fair share since these problems go beyond borders and national boundaries. Violence in one country can spread to another, with far reaching consequences in regional peace, security, and trade,” Lorenzana said.