PUNDAKIT, ZAMBALES, Philippines -- Medical and dental care was provided March 31, at Pundakit Elementary School as part of Balikatan 2011.

Armed Forces of the Philippines and United States servicemembers teamed together to provide free medical services to the local community.

The joint community assistance project conducted at the school, included medical, dental, optometry and minor surgeries. The combined effort of Filipino and American servicemembers, in cooperation with the local town officials, treated about 1,000 residents of Barangay Pundakit.

Standing in line with a smile at the Pundakit Elementary School March 31, during a Balikatan 2011 medical and dental civic assistance project, Rona Carduce looks like any other young mother among the hundreds of local residents of Barangay Pundakit seeking medical assistance.

"I want to make sure she gets a checkup and can get all her immunizations and vitamins," said Carduce. "I think this is a very good thing. My dream for Mika (her daughter) is that she will grow (up) to be a nurse."

Balikatan 2011 is the 27th in a series of combined, joint efforts between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and U.S. servicemembers. The goal of these exercises is to build lasting relationships, train together, and provide assistance in communities where the need is greatest.

Armed Forces of the Philippines and U.S. medical personnel took this opportunity to work together, improve their interoperability and demonstrate their commitment to helping the community.