Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, October 24, 2005

US troops here for amphibious landing exercises

ON BOARD THE USS ESSEX, Subic Bay Freeport -- Some 4,500 American troops arrived here Saturday for the start of the annual amphibious landing exercises with their Filipino counterparts.

The bilateral training dubbed "Phiblex 06" will engage US sailors and Marines in a two-week ground, air and naval integration exercises with at least 500 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Three amphibious ships -- the USS Essex, USS Juneau and USS Fort McHenry -- ferried the troops belonging to the Forward Deployed Amphibious Ready Group and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit based in Okinawa, Japan.

"This exercise will maintain the readiness [and] capability of both the Philippine and US armed forces and goes a long way to supporting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region," said Captain Mark Donahue of US Amphibious Squadron 11.

Donahue said the exercises would be held in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Cavite, Pampanga and Zambales. Allan Macatuno, PDI Central


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