Balikatan to test Philippines's new military assets

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ new military assets will be put to test during this year’s Balikatan joint exercises with the United States, which kicks off today.

Among the new assets that will participate in the joint drills are the landing craft heavy ships provided to the Philippine Navy by Australia.

The Philippines acquired five decommissioned ships from Australia for P726 million. The first two ships arrived last August while the three others were delivered last month.

Two of the five ships are expected to join the mobility exercise.

Capt. Celeste Frank Sayson, spokesman of the Philippine contingent to Balikatan, said the vessels would join a mobility exercise that seeks to enhance the security forces’ capability to respond to disasters.

“The mobility exercise will train our soldiers to move logistics on a massive scale. It will be the first time we will conduct such an exercise with our US counterparts,” Sayson told The STAR in a phone interview yesterday.

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