PH, US to hold joint naval exercise in October

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 27) — The Philippine Navy will host this year’s iteration of “Sama-sama,” a bilateral exercise with its United States counterpart that aims to further strengthen defense cooperation between the two countries.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday said the joint maritime training activity will run from Oct. 2 to 13 at the Naval Forces Southern Luzon area of operations.

Activities target to enhance the country's naval warfare capabilities, the AFP said, adding that these will cover the fundamentals of anti-submarine, anti-surface, anti-air, and electronic warfare.

The training is also seen to improve interoperability not only with the US Navy, but with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, the Royal Australian Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy, and the United Kingdom Royal Navy through subject-matter expert exchanges, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response events, the AFP added.

The AFP said the navies of France and Australia will send personnel to join the subject-matter expert exchanges, while the navies of New Zealand and Indonesia will also be in the exercise as observers.

The annual exercise will come on the heels of fresh tension between Manila and Beijing over the West Philippine Sea, where massive coral reef damage has recently been observed and suspected to be the latter's doing.

More recently, China also installed a floating barrier at the Scarborough Shoal, preventing Filipino fishers from venturing to the area. The Philippines removed the barrier and said it plans to file a protest over the matter, while China warned the country not to “stir up trouble.”

READ: Defense chief says PH ‘not stirring up trouble’ in WPS