By Marine Corps 1st Lt. Ryan Lowcher, 3rd Marine Division
OKINAWA, Japan -- A Marine from Castro Valley, California, returned to his original home while participating in a large-scale multilateral exercise in the Philippines.
Lance Cpl. Nicoleandr Alacantara, born in Manila, deployed to Colonel Ernesto Ravina Air Base in support of Exercise Balikatan 2018, serving here in Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force.
"I lived in the Philippines for the first 18 years of my life, and this is the first time I have been back since I moved," Alcantara said.
He said the Marines and their counterparts from the Philippines learned from each other.
"We have been able to share our knowledge with them and learn from them in return," he added.
Alacantara provides the communication gear that helps commanders issue orders and resupply Marines.
Balikatan is an annual U.S.-Philippine military training event focused on a variety of missions, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counterterrorism and other combined military operations. This year’s exercise was held May 7-18.