In this June 9, 2017, photo, soldiers ride a military vehicle on the outskirts of Marawi city, southern Philippines. The Philippine military says 13 marines have been killed in fierce fighting with Muslim militants who have laid siege to southern Marawi city.InternationalIndiaAfricaMOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Philippines and the United States began a three-week long Salaknib (Shield) large-scale military exercise at the largest military reservation in the Philippines, Fort Magsaysay, on Monday, involving about 3,000 personnel, Philippine Army Commander Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said. The first stage of the annual exercise will run through April 4, and the second is scheduled for the second quarter of the year. The exercises are aimed at strengthening the cooperation of Filipino and American troops in a spectrum of military operations. This year, the exercises will particularly focus on air defense and defense from shoreline operations under scenarios that involve the protection of the country from external aggression.
"In addition to the normal exercises and trainings we have, we will infuse more programs and training exercises that involve tactics we are learning from the Russia-Ukraine conflict… We will definitely benefit from that aspect," Brawner said at a ceremony to mark the start of exercise, as quoted by Philippine broadcaster.
MultimediaProtests in the Philippines Against US Military Presence2 February, 11:23 GMTThe Philippines extended the US’s access to its military facilities under the 2014 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement in early February, reportedly in an attempt to counter China’s growing influence in the Asia-Pacific region amid territorial disputes in the South China Sea.