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US, Philippines to Hold Expanded War Games

2015-04-08 09:03:26       source:The Diplomat

By Prashanth Parameswaran

April 8, 2015

"The United States and the Philippines are set to double the size of their annual war games to be held later month, with some exercises staged close to a South China Sea flashpoint, Philippine officials said Monday.

According to local media reports, more than 11,500 U.S. and Philippine troops - around 6,600 U.S. troops and 5,000 from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) - will take part in this year's Balikatan exercises, reportedly the largest number since 2000. Balikatan 2015, which will be held from April 20 to April 30, will feature three activities: the command post exercise, field training exercise and humanitarian civic assistance. The United States will be sending 76 air assets and three ships for the exercise, while the Philippines would deploy 15 planes and one vessel. Australia is also expected to take part all three parts of the exercise, and will be sending personnel and an aircraft."

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