Troops from the Philippines and the US on June 26 began their annual 20th military drill “Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training” (CARAT) in the former.

It is part of a broader bilateral exercise series the US Navy conducts with nine partner navies in South and Southeast Asia.

This year's CARAT Philippines will focus on combined operations at sea, amphibious landings, diving and salvage, and maritime patrol and reconnaissance flights.

Exercises will be held in several locations ashore and at sea, including Subic Bay, San Antonio in the northern Filipino province of Zambales, Sangley Point in Cavite City and Ternate in western Philippines.

In a statement, the US embassy said CARAT exercises are aimed at addressing shared maritime security priorities, strengthening maritime partnership and enhancing interoperability among participants.-VNA