Sunday, June 26, 2011

PHL, US to hold navy drills near disputed Spratly Islands

Manila-The United States and the Philippines will begin 11 days of maritime security excercises near disputed waters in the South China Sea (or West Philippine Sea) next week, with the Philippines buoyed by a renewed US pledge of support in boosting its military capabilities.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday vowed to support its old ally amid growing tension between China and its neighbors in disputed of the South China Sea.

Lieutenant Noel Cadigal of the Philippine Navy said two US guided missile destroyers and a salvage ship would join four Philippine gunboats for gunnery, patrol and interdiciton drills off the southern tip of Palawan island.

"We will also hold anti-piracy and anti-smuggling exercises and test the interoperability and readiness of the two navies in responding to various scenarios, such as security, disaster and humaritarian assistance," Cadigal said.

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