US, PH joint military exercises focused on humanitarian aid, disaster response
MANILA, Philippines—Members of the United States Pacific Command and the Philippine military will conduct joint exercises to strengthen humanitarian assistance and disaster response missions as part of the annual PH-US Amphibious Landing Exercise, the US embassy in Manila announced Tuesday.
Philblex 13, the 29th of the continuing series of joint exercises designed to promote regional peace and security by ensuring interoperability and readiness of Philippine and US military forces, would be held from October 8 – 18, the embassy said.
It noted that majority of the activities this year would be held in Zambales. It added that staff planning exercises focusing on humanitarian assistance and disaster response and two humanitarian and civic assistance projects would also occur in Palawan.
“Training will consist of a staff planning exercise, a static aircraft display, multiple field training exercises (FTX), and humanitarian and civic assistance (HCA) projects to include medical, dental, and engineering projects,” it said.
It also quoted US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr as saying that the exercises strengthen and deepen the relationships not only between the two countries’ militaries but communities as well.
“This year’s exercise provides an opportunity for our military service members and their Philippine counterparts to train side-by-side on many capabilities, particularly humanitarian assistance and disaster response, which are critical in the Ring of Fire,” Thomas was quoted as saying.
It said that about 2,600 US personnel and over 1,200 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines from all services were expected to participate in the exercise.
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