The US is deploying a dozen of F/A – 18 squadrons to the Philippines this week to take part in annual military drills with the South East Asia close security ally.

In a statement on April 4, the spokesperson of Filipino defence ministry, Major Emmanuel Garcia said the presence of the jet fighters has nothing to do with the rising tensions in Korean Peninsula, and that the exercises were planned more than a year ago.

As many as 8,000 American and Filipino troops will take part in the joint maneuvers to train in mimic battles and disaster relief operations.

The US will also send USS Tortuga dock landing ship and 14 other jet fighters to the Philippines , while this country will deploy at least 10 aircraft and 2 warships to the 12-day exercises.

The war game is considered a test to the two allies’ joint defence plans based on the Mutual Defence Treaty. The US is maintaining similar arrangements with the Republic of Korea , Japan , Singapore and Australia.-VNA