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PH, US troops in Balikatan exercises in Zambales

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By Franco Regala

SAN ANTONIO, Zambales – At least 180 Filipino and American troops took part in Balikatan Exercises 2018 (BK34-18) held at Naval Education Training Command here.

ZAMBALES MANEUVERS – Filipino and American soldiers land on a beach in San Antonio, Zambales, as the 18th Balikatan started in earnest Wednesday. The joint military exercise is being held amid growing concerns over the militarization of Chinese-occupied islands in the South China Sea. (Alvin Kasiban)

ZAMBALES MANEUVERS – Filipino and American soldiers land on a beach in San Antonio, Zambales, as the 18th Balikatan started in earnest Wednesday. (Alvin Kasiban / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Lt. General M. Salamat, Philippine Exercises Director and concurrent Northern Luzon Command, (Nolcom) commander said that the objective of Balikatan is to enhance the interoperability both Philippine and US forces through humanitarian assistance & disaster response as well as counter-terrorism operations.

According to Salamat, the BK34 also focused on humanitarian work.

The Nolcom commander, US Exercises Director Gen. James Nicholeson, along with several Filipino-American Marine officers graced the opening of BK34 here.

Lt. Col. Isagani Nato, Nolcom spokesperson said two Philippine ships the 2LD602 and FF16, three Amphibious Armored Vehicles of the US Marines and OB-10 Broncho fixed-wing aircraft of the Philippine Air Force were used in the joint military exercises.

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