Monday, June 27, 2011

Phl, US set maritime exercise in Palawan

Philippine Star, Monday, June 27, 2011

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines – Philippine and United States Navy will start tomorrow the annual bilateral maritime exercise here, the state media said today.

Dubbed as Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT), the joint military exercise will be conducted at the height of the tension between the Philippines and China over the Spratlys row.

In an interview, Major Neil Anthony Estrella, spokesperson for the Western Command, said about 1,000 US sailors are expected to participate in the ashore and at-sea phases of the CARAT.

He also said that this year’s exercise promises to be meaningful and relevant for the two navies, and will further strengthen the relationship of the two countries.

He said two destroyer and one salvage ships are to be used by the United States Navy as their centerpieces for the exercise. The Philippines will utilize all the patrol ships deployed under the Naval Forces West.

Apart from the military exercise, there will also be symposia on search and rescue practices and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.

CARAT is a series of bilateral military exercises between the United States Navy and the Naval Forces of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. The exercise in Puerto Princesa City will end on July 4th.

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