USS Hasley

The US and Philippines are set to conduct cooperation afloat readiness and training (CARAT) 2014 exercises from 26 June to 1 July, near Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea.

The week-long exercises will be held about 80nm away from two or three Chinese coast guard vessels stationed on patrol off the disputed Scarborough Shoal, in the South China Sea.

Around 1,000 troops will conduct live-fire drills on the western shores of the Philippine island of Luzon, according to Reuters.

The US forces participating in the exercise include a guided-missile destroyer, Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk helicopters, two landing craft air cushions, underwater demolition teams, Seabees, an explosive ordnance division unit, and company-sized amphibious assault vehicles.

"Around 1,000 troops will conduct live-fire drills on the western shores of the Philippine island of Luzon."

The Filipino contingent comprises the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16), BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS-35), a Norman Britten Islander aircraft, two AgustaWestland AW-109E helicopters, a Naval Special Operations Group explosive ordnance unit, two special boat teams, three diving teams, a communications team, two marine companies, band, logistic and Seabees units.

Furthermore, the navies will conduct a gunnery exercise in the surrounding area of the Luzon Sea on 29 June.

Aimed at developing regional maritime security, navy-to-navy relationships and interoperability among participating forces, the exercise is targeted at combined air, surface and anti-submarine operations at sea, maritime domain awareness, amphibious landing events and humanitarian assistance and disaster response scenarios.

Last month, the US called off the annual military training exercise CARAT 2014 with Thailand, in response to the bloodless military coup in the South East Asian nation.

Image: The US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) will also participate in CARAT 2014. Photo: courtesy of DanMS.

Defence Technology