Defense meet maritime drill ends May 14
The navies of the Philippines, India, Japan and the United States have started conducting a mini maritime drill at the South China Sea, while en route to Singapore for the next phase of the Asean Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus Maritime Security Field Training Exercise (ADMM-Plus Marsec FTX).
Participating countries in the ADMM-Plus Marsec FTX have just concluded the first phase of the multinational exercise in Busan, South Korea.
The drill kicked off on April 29 and will conclude on May 14 in Changi, Singapore.
Navy spokesperson Capt. Jonathan Zata said offshore patrol vessel BRP Andres Bonifacio was sailing with ships of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, the Indian Navy and the US Pacific fleet when the transit drill was held.
He clarified that the exercise was held on international waters and not on the disputed areas of the West Philippine Sea.
Zata said other vessels which participated in the exercise were Japan’s destroyers JS Izumo and JS Murasame; India’s destroyer INS Kolkata and fleet tanker INS Shakti; as well as the US Pacific fleet’s Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence.
The combined transit exercise was “expected to validate decades of friendship, partnership and cooperative engagement between the Philippines, the United States, Japan and India,” said the Navy spokesperson. —JEANNETTE I. ANDRADE
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