261 PH-US military exercises in 2018

By OMER OSCAR ALMENARIO
THREE events higher than scheduled this year, American and Filipino military units will have a total of 261 exercises for 2018.
This was disclosed Thursday in a press briefing by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Major Gen. Restituto Padilla.
This announcement came in wake of the just-concluded Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board held in Hawaii last week.
Padilla said the increase is not significant per se as some activities were only separated.
And while not giving the exact activities, Padilla said these include the usual expert exchanges, meetings, board exercises, consultations and continuing regular engagements like the annual “Balikatan” (joint) exercises.
He added that a number of American military officials would be arriving to discuss next year’s “Balikatan.” These include initial, mid, and final planning conferences and inspection of areas to be utilized for next year’s event.
Padilla said the bulk of next year’s “Balikatan” games are on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counter-terrorism exercises and some territorial defense type activities.

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