U.S. and Philippine troops hold live fire drills in annual war games
Saturday, May 10, 2014 - 00:55
May.10 - U.S. and Philippine troops engage in live fire and air power demonstrations on the sixth day of the joint military exercises between the United States and the Philippines. Rough Cut (No Reporter Narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: United States and Philippine forces conducted live firing exercises at a military camp in the northern province of Nueva Ecija during the sixth day of the annual the annual war games on Saturday (May 10).
The joint exercises "Balikatan" (shoulder-to-shoulder) tests the combat readiness of the two allies in responding to maritime threats, including piracy and humanitarian assistance and disaster response.
A platoon from the Philippines and the U.S. army engaged in marksmanship and assault drills, with soldiers manning armoured vehicles and firing turrets, machine guns and mortars at stationary targets scattered around a hill overlooking the military camp.
U.S. Army spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Dave Zinn said the exercises will help improve military capabilities between nations.
The annual joint exercises is the first under a new security pact with the United States, which improves the overall framework of the war games and allows greater access of U.S. troops inside the Philippine bases, in response to China's growing naval presence in the disputed South China Sea.
The war games come under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, part of a web of security alliances the United States built in the Asia-Pacific region during the Cold War.
The Philippines has territorial disputes with China over the South China Sea, which is said to be rich in deposits of oil and gas and carry about $5 billion in ship-borne trade every year. The Spratlys in the South China Sea are also claimed by Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.
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