PH, US, Japan navies practice
MANILA, Philippines—The navies of the Philippines, the United States and Japan on Thursday began a two-day multilateral military exercise in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
Lt. Cmdr. Marideth Domingo, Navy public affairs officer, said the Philippines sent the BRP Gregorio del Pilar to take part in the exercise with the Japanese ship Sazanami and the USS Antietam.
“This is very fortunate because this is the first time we have an exercise with the Japanese and the US navies at the same time,” Domingo said.
Both the Japanese Navy ship and the USS Antietam, which is part of the George Washington strike group, docked in Manila on Thursday.
The exercises consist of formation, live gunnery and night (classic) publication exercises. A publication exercise is about communicating with other ships using codes.
“This is a very opportune time for us to conduct, to utilize the code of unplanned encounters at sea, and this has been the talk of foreign navies.
Asked why the exercises had to be conducted in disputed waters, Domingo said the countries involved were “not projecting anything” even as she insisted the exercises were purely for training purposes. Cynthia D. Balana
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