US, Philippines begin annual military drills

Philippines, US kick off annual joint military exercise
PH-US Balikatan exercises kick off
Author

10 May, 2017

The 12-day exercise won't include the usual live-fire exercises geared toward territorial defense or maritime security, officials said.

Eight other militaries, including the armed forces of Australia and Japan, are in the Philippines to participate in the annual Balikatan exercises between Philippines and the US.

However, while the President allowed the annual bilateral exercise to remain, he said it should only focus in areas of humanitarian assistance and counterterrorism, and nothing more.

After this year's launch, the joint military exercise will move to the country's different naval stations in Luzon and the Visayas, including those in Panay, Leyte, Palawan and Samar.

They will involve 2,600 American soldiers and 2,800 Filipino troops, according to both sides.

There will also be no focus on boosting the Philippines' maritime defence capabilities, which in previous years had been widely seen as a show of strength against Beijing over competing claims in the South China Sea. "I'm very confident that our cooperation and collaboration and our exercises will continue to progress for many, many years and decades".

The change in focus of the drill from territorial defence operations was instructed by Duterte, who has indicated a shift in foreign policy to expand security ties with Russian Federation and China.

More news: Newcastle win Championship, Blackburn relegated on dramatic final day

Those expected to witness the opening ceremony are Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, AFP Chief Eduaro Ano, acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo US Ambassador Sung Kim and dozens of local and foreign journalists from China and Taiwan.

Participating US troops for this year's Balikatan are placed at 2,600 personnel, with the Philippine side fielding in 2,800.

"We heed to the intentions of the president", Sayson said.

Philippine Army Lt. Gen. Oscar Lactao and III Marine Expeditionary Force commander Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, the exercise's directors, gave upbeat answers to reporters' questions about the drills.

With that, Sayson said all participating units, whether on staff exercise or command post exercise, will focus on responses to the particular scenario.

The American co-director of this year's Balikatan, Lieutenant General Lawrence Nicholson, said the United States military hoped the exercises would grow again in future editions.

Nicholson, in the same press briefing, said that anytime they get a chance to work with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is a privilege for them.


More news


  • Bromwich, Proctor out of World Cup

    He then handed it to Bromwich and Proctor, who were said to have rolled up bank notes and taken the substance. Kiwis captain Jesse Bromwich and teammate Kevin Proctor will play no part in this year's World Cup.
    Motorola reportedly working on a tablet with 'Productivity Mode'

    Motorola reportedly working on a tablet with 'Productivity Mode'

    The name of this device isn't known at this time, though, nor whether Motorola has even picked the final name for the product. Unfortunately, the source didn't provide any information on the device's other specifications like processor, storage or RAM.

    Texans trade up to get QB Watson

    The team brought him in for a pre-draft visit and held a meeting with him at the NFL Combine . The Texans selected Watson in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, 12th overall.
  • Crosby taking part in full practice with Penguins

    Still, it depends on how Crosby, 29, feels after those taking bumps and hits, which is why the team has termed him day-to-day. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan is expected to provide an update on Crosby's status for Saturday's Game 5 after practice.
    The NSA Collected 151 Million Phone Records In 2016

    The NSA Collected 151 Million Phone Records In 2016

    A single call would be counted as two records because they were submitted separately by the two companies handling the call. Officials said that they don't have a breakdown of how many individuals' phone records are represented in that 151m.
    New Far Cry Announcement Possibly Teased By Ubisoft

    New Far Cry Announcement Possibly Teased By Ubisoft

    Or, will the remastering trend continue and see Far Cry 3 get a modernized version revealed in the weeks ahead? Something is definitely going on here, and now we know that it has to do with Far Cry 3.
  • How we defeated Atletico Madrid - Zidane

    How we defeated Atletico Madrid - Zidane

    We know that we're going to have to perform just as well and put in a ideal performance if we're to progress", he added. It was a match filled with emotion, the team was phenomenal and scoring three goals made it a special night", he said.

    Israel blamed as blast sparks fires at Damascus airport

    According to Syria's state-run news agency Sana , the strikes caused only material damage and resulted in no human casualties. Damascus International Airport is reportedly a major conduit of Iranian arms bound for Hezbollah in Syria.
    2nd Test: Gabriel five-for sets up Windies win as Pakistan capitulate

    2nd Test: Gabriel five-for sets up Windies win as Pakistan capitulate

    Hope's departure precipitated a collapse, with Vishaul Singh falling to the next ball, bowled by paceman Mohammad Abbas for 32. Kraigg Brathwaite and Hope stabilised the innings with a 56-run partnership before Brathwaite was dismissed by Yasir for 43.
  • Jazz dispatch Clippers — Sunday's National Basketball Association  playoffs

    Jazz dispatch Clippers — Sunday's National Basketball Association playoffs

    Sunday's first round departure marks the beginning of what should be a very interesting offseason for the Clippers organization. Ingles' contribution in game seven against the Clippers was the Australian's highest points tally of the series.
    Ballistic missile test-fired from California coastal base

    Ballistic missile test-fired from California coastal base

    That missile, equipped with a nonexplosive payload, also traveled to a test range in Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The 576th Flight Test Squadron was be responsible for the tracking, telemetry and command destruct systems on the missile.
    Kourtney Kardashian spotted lunching with hot 23-year-old model

    Kourtney Kardashian spotted lunching with hot 23-year-old model

    Kourtney is turning into a real cougar after she showed interest in much younger guys following Scott's latest cheating scandal. They have remained close for the sake of their sons Mason , seven, and Reign , two, and four-year-old daughter Penelope .