PH, US start counter terrorism drills
THE Philippines and the US on Monday started its joint military exercises on counter terrorism and interoperability.
The Marine Aviation Support Activity (MASA) 19.2 is a semi-annual military exercise to be held in Ternate, Cavite from July 15 to 25.
Capt. Felix Serapio, Philippine Marine Corps spokesman, said the joint drills would focus on mutual defense, counterterrorism and humanitarian assistance.
The US Marines and aircraft from the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262, the 3rd Battalion, the 6th Marine Regiment based in Okinawa, Japan will be joining the Philippine Marine Corps and Air Force.
“This [exercise] is important because it builds interoperability and this will enhance the capabilities of the Armed Forces, as well as the US Armed Forces, since we both conduct it annually the cooperation and interoperability training,” Serapio told reporters.
The drills were opened at the Basa Air Base in Pampanga.
The joint military training will also be “consistent” with the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement between Manila and Washington.
The US Embassy in the Philippines, meanwhile, said: “Military training exercises like these allow the US to strengthen our longstanding security alliance with our friends, partners and allies in the Philippines.” DEMPSEY REYES
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