SUBIC BAY, Philippines – Philippine and United States officials on Monday opened a joint training exercise designed to help the two militaries work together to enhance regional security.
The training, called Amphibious Landing Exercises, involve 2,600 United States Marines and 1,200 Philippine Marines and will be held in locations around the northern island of Luzon. The two militaries will train together on disaster relief, humanitarian assistance and maritime security.
“Today, we stand side by side as we face common threats,” said Marine Brig. Gen. Craig Q. Timberlake at the opening ceremony.
The exercises are being held during a time of increased tensions in the South China Sea with the Philippines and China involved in a territorial dispute over islands lying near rich energy deposits.
Officials said Monday that the joint exercises have been going on for nearly 30 years and were not related to the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China. They are designed for training and mutual education.
Article written by Floyd Whaley, courtesy of The New York Times.