France, Japan joining PH-US maritime exercises
MANILA, Philippines—The navies of France and Japan will participate in Philippine-US maritime exercises.
The fourth iteration of Maritime Training Activity (MTA) Sama-Sama, a Filipino term for together, launched online on Monday.
The MTA-Sama Sama (formerly CARAT or Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training exercise) aims to enhance the interoperability of the region’s navies as they address maritime security concerns and preserve a rules-based international order, the Naval Forces Northern Luzon said in a statement.
“We are here today to fulfill a common goal—to prepare, re-skill, and upgrade our training in addressing a spectrum of security threats—from transnational crime to counterterrorism, piracy, and narcotics problem and of course, territorial defense issues,” Navy chief Vice Admiral Adeluis Borado was quoted as saying.
Because of the pandemic, most of the activities will be held online. Events will include diver training, aviation and information sharing, replenishment at sea methods and maritime domain awareness, the US Navy said.
Medical best practices, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and maritime law, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, will also be included in the discussions.
“The virtual engagement focuses on the full spectrum of naval capabilities and features cooperative evolutions that highlight the ability of US and Philippines to work together towards the common goal of ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific maritime security environment,” the US Navy said.
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force is joining Sama-Sama for the second time since 2019.
Japanese forces recently joined the amphibious exercises of Philippine and US marines known as Kamandag exercises.
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