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Philippines, US maintain live-fire workout routines targeted on territorial defence

FORT MAGSAYSAY, Philippines: Philippine troops staged live-fire workout routines with their US counterparts within the Southeast Asian nation’s largest navy camp as a part of army-to-army drills aimed toward enhancing Manila’s defence capabilities towards exterior threats.

The drills come after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s determination in February to develop the USA’ entry to his nation’s navy bases – a transfer that has infuriated China, which accuses Washington of stoking tensions within the area.

Greater than 3,000 Filipino and U.S. troopers participated within the three-week lengthy annual workout routines known as Salaknib, which on Friday (Mar 31) featured anti-tank and small-arms live-fire workout routines, and the firing of Excessive Mobility Artillery Rocket System (Himars).

“We at the moment are transitioning from inside safety operations to territorial defence operations,” Philippine military coaching officer Lieutenant-Colonel (Lt Col) Tara Cayton, stated in a information convention.

The live-fire drills passed off at Fort Magsaysay in Luzon, the nation’s largest island, and one of many 5 current websites the USA has entry to beneath its Enhanced Defence Cooperation Settlement (EDCA) with Manila.

Underneath that settlement, the USA can use the bases for joint coaching, pre-positioning of kit and constructing of services similar to runways, gasoline storage and navy housing, however to not preserve a everlasting presence.

Fort Magsaysay can even host the largest ever joint navy drills between the Philippines and the USA subsequent month, which spotlight improved ties with the Western energy beneath Marcos.

The annual “Balikatan” workout routines, which is able to see 17,600 members from either side, together with round 12,000 from the USA, come towards the backdrop of what the Philippines calls “aggressive” Chinese language actions within the South China Sea.

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