PH Navy start naval exercises with US, Japan navies in Palawan June 22
The Philippine Navy will begin its naval exercises with its allies from the United States and Japan on Monday (June 22) in Palawan to improve the interoperability between the allied forces.
The maritime training activities will run from June 22 to 24 at the Naval Forces West’s area of responsibility in Puerto Princesa City, with the United States and the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force.
Col. Edgar Arevalo, the Philippine Navy spokesperson, said the naval exercises with two of the country’s allies would improve the interoperability between the forces and enhance the country’s maritime capabilities.
“We want to take advantage of the visit of the Japanese navy to enhance interoperability and share best practices in humanitarian assistance and disaster response, as well as search and rescue operations,” the official said on Sunday.
The naval exercises will be done at the Antonio Bautista Airbase in San Miguel, Puerto Princesa City until Wednesday.
Authorities said the naval exercises should not be linked to the ongoing territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea, where China has been erecting structures on contested territory.
“It’s not related to that. Even before all these things have happened, the Philippine Navy engages foreign visiting navies… Of course the United States come in and out every year,” Arevalo said.
He cited the USS George Washington and the USS Blue Ridge’s constant presence in the country, as the Philippine Navy has community relations projects with its United States allies such as painting school buildings and story telling activities to children.
“It’s not in any way intended to make any statement at all, it’s a customary visit, customary cordial activities that we do with visiting navies,” Arevalo added.
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