Increased tensions see downsized joint exercise.

Philippines curtails military exercises with U.S.

By: Jeff Schogol

For the first time in 34 years, the U.S. and Philippines will not hold the annual amphibious joint exercise PHIBLEX in 2017, the latest sign of strain in the two countries’ relationship since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was elected in May.

More than 1,400 Okinawa-based Marines and sailors from the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, and 500 Philippine troops participated in the 33rd annual PHIBLEX this October. The annual exercise involved live-fire events, as well as training for amphibious landings.

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