Philippines, US to start annual joint military drills on Monday (April 12)

MANILA, April 11 (Xinhua): The Philippines and the United States will start their annual joint military exercise dubbed "Balikatan" on Monday (April 11), the Philippine military chief said on Sunday.

This year's exercise is a "scaled-down version" of the previous drills due to the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic, said Philippine defense and military authorities.

Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, the chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said this year's "Balikatan" will only involve 1,700 troops -- 700 from the US and 1,000 from the Philippines.

"Some portions of the exercises will be virtual, but we also have minimal physical contact.

There will also be actual field training exercises but not as big as those done in the previous years," he said.

Sobejana said the two-week joint military drills will officially open on Monday at the AFP's main headquarters in the capital.

Unlike in previous opening ceremonies, he said Monday's event is closed to the public and the media as part of the safety precautions due to Covid-19.

The rest of the drills will also be closed for coverage.

"Balikatan", a Tagalog phrase for "shoulder-to-shoulder", is the most comprehensive among several regular US-Philippines joint military exercises.
Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Philippines , Joint , Military , Exercise , US , Monday , April 12


Next In Aseanplus News

India's Covid-19 tally rises above 31.3 million as country grapples with floods and landslides
Olympics-Swimming-Japan's Ohashi ends winning streak of Hungary's 'Iron Lady' with medley gold
Re-imagining solutions for unemployment in Brunei
China’s slowing economic growth and potential headwinds may suggest fiscal loosening is imminent
Almost 17 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered, says Dr Adham
China semiconductors: Tsinghua Unigroup seeks white knight for massive bailout
Vietnamese govt rolls out interest-free loans for companies to pay salaries
Myanmar Covid-19 infections continue to rise and total now goes above 264,527
China’s edtech assault hits investors from Tiger to Temasek
China crackdown makes HK index world’s biggest tech loser

Stories You'll Enjoy