US, Philippines starts military exercise
Updated: 2005-10-23 09:46
Loud noise of US navy machines broke the silence here at noon on Saturday as
the largest US-Philippine joint military exercise began in this free fort, a
former US naval base.
Seven assault landing ships
carried US marines, armored vehicles and jeeps to two separate points on the
sunny beach in the bay, while the USS ESSEX, a Wasp class amphibious assault
ship,and two other US landing ships were approaching the pier reserved for the
Loud noise of US
navy machines broke the silence here at noon on Saturday as the largest
US-Philippine joint military exercise began in this free fort, a former US
naval base. [Xinhua]
Led by USS ESSEX, the US navy ships from the Forward Deployed Amphibious
Ready Group brought 3,300 marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit to the
site of the military exercise codenamed "PHIBLEX 06".
The US marines will conduct several training programs including landing
assault with their Philippine counterparts, a US military spokesman said. Nearly
500 Filipino marines are expected to receive instructions from US officers.
The annual exercise, which will extend to Oct. 26, is designed to improve
inter-operability, increase readiness and continue professional relationships
between the two allied countries, according to Mark Donahue, commodore of the
11th Amphibious Squadron overseeing the exercise here.
However, the US officer declined to tell what scenario the exercise is based,
saying one of the objectives is to acquire more capability for humanitarian aid
in case of natural disasters.
The Amphibious Squadron that consists of three US ships was based out of
Sasebo, Japan, before it arrived at the Philippines.