MAKATI CITY, Manila, Philippines – After 12 days of teaching and learning from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force, and representatives from 20 nations, the Non-lethal Weapons Executive Seminar (NOLES) 2014 came to an end with the conclusion of the leadership seminar portion of the exercise August 16.
Completing the 13th iteration, NOLES 2014 was the first time the Philippines hosted the seminar. NOLES is held annually by U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, consisting of a field-training exercise for the first nine days, and finishing with a demonstration of non-lethal weapons (NLW) and tactics learned throughout training, and a three-day NLW seminar. The exercise promotes awareness and effective use of non-lethal weapons to maintain order in low-intensity conflicts or civil unrest.
"In a world where we are continuingly being challenged by threats and changes, it is critical we adapt to new techniques," said Brig. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese, commanding general, 1st Marine Logistics Group.
Tactics learned here during the exercise consisted of Mechanical Advantage Control Holds (MACH), Taser and Oleoresin Capsicum training, the firing of non-lethal munitions, and even a portion where the AFP and PNP taught the U.S. Marines tactics and martial arts native to the Philippines.
On the last day of the seminar, senior leaders were formed into groups, and given two different scenarios on situations where they could employ non-lethal tactics and weapons. Non-lethal tactics and weapons are tools that give leaders more options to de-escalate situations such as civil disturbances, rescue missions, convoy operations or checkpoints, and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations.
"I encourage you to do two things, the first is to take what you've seen and challenge your leaders and peers when you go back home," said Coglianese. "The second thing I encourage you to do, and probably the most important, is to continue the great partnership you developed here."