Philippines, US hold naval exercises

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Manila, June 26: Troops from the Philippines and the US Thursday commenced their annual joint naval exercises.

The 20th annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Philippines 2014 is part of a broader bilateral exercise series conducted by the US Navy in collaboration with nine naval forces from the Southeast Asia, Xinhua reported.

The US embassy in Manila said in a statement that the CARAT exercises are aimed at addressing maritime security, strengthen maritime partnerships and enhance interoperability among participating navies.

This year's CARAT Philippines will focus on combined operations at sea, amphibious landings, diving and salvage, and maritime patrol and reconnaissance flights.

Exercises will be held in several locations ashore and at sea, including Subic Bay, San Antonio, in the northern Philippine province of Zambales and Sangley Point in Cavite City and Ternate in western Philippines.

The US embassy said CARAT exercises were "clear examples" of the long-standing and close relationship between the navies of the Philippines and the US since its initiation in 1995.

IANS

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