http://news3.xinhuanet.com, MANILA: The Philippine Navy (PN) is set to conduct a 10-day joint military exercise with the Royal Australia Navy (RAN) off the northern coast, the military said Thursday.
The military said in a statement that the combined naval exercise, dubbed as PN-RAN Exercise LUMBAS 2004, will start Fridayand last till Aug. 30 in the coast of Palawan.
The war games are aimed to enhance the interoperability and operational readiness between the participating forces of the two countries in combined naval operations, the statement said.
According to the military, the Philippine Navy participating forces include a seal team, a fixed wing aircraft and two surface assets while their Australian counterpart, on the other hand, are fielding in two surface assets.
The war game, comprised of five main phases, is basically a maritime surveillance exercise to be conducted within Philippine waters between the Navy units of the two countries, the military said.
The preparation phase, which began on Aug. 10 and will end Thursday, included the material preparations such as the necessary repairs, training of participating ships and the logistics fill-up.
The harbor phase of the exercise, to be held from Saturday to Monday, will include harbor training and tours of participating units, followed by the sea phase, which is to run from Aug. 24 to 27 and consists of a serialized training including seamanship and tactical serials, surveillance and gunnery exercises.
The last phase will include the post-exercise debrief closing ceremony and the return of the units.
The statement noted that the exercise also intends to strengthen the relations between the two navies.
Meanwhile, another joint naval exercise between Filipino and American troops, dubbed Palah 05-1, also kicked off in the southern islands of Mindanao despite the strained relations between the two countries in the aftermath of last month's pulloutof Filipino troops from Iraq.
These joint exercises show that the relations between the two countries are “on track,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Delia Albert said.
Palah 05-1, a navy-to-navy exercise involving combat troops of the Philippine Special Warfare Group and the US Navy Seals, began on Aug. 5 and will end on Dec. 31, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
Apart from this, another joint Philippine-America naval maneuver exercise, codenamed Maritime Survey Exercises 04-4, has been lined up for the fourth quarter of the year, the DFA added.