WATCH: PH, US forces hold amphibious drills near disputed sea
MANILA, Philippines — More than 200 Filipino and American soldiers staged on Thursday a simulated amphibious assault on a beach facing the disputed West Philippine Sea.
The amphibious landing exercise held in the coastal town of San Antonio in Zambales was part of the two-week Balikatan exercises, the largest of the 281 security cooperation activities of the Philippines and US.
The US and Philippine forces troops worked together to retake an area controlled by “enemy forces”.
Seven amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs) of the US Marines unloaded about 160 Americans and stormed the shoreline.
About 50 troops from four AAVs soon followed.
Around 7,500 Filipino and American troops are participating in the two-week exercise, which runs until Friday, April 12.
Lt. Commander Liezl M. Vidallon, Public Affairs Officer of Balikatan 2019 for the Philippine side said the drill was an opportunity not just for interoperability but also to learn how to use the AAVs.
The Philippine military will acquire four AAVs from South Korea later this year.
The exercise was held some 90 miles away from Scarborough Shoal, a traditional fishing ground disputed by the Philippines and China. /gsg
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