The US Navy, Marine Corps and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have started the 2015 cooperation afloat readiness and training (CARAT) exercise series in Puerto Princesa, Philippines.
CARAT will cover combined operations at sea, mobile dive and salvage training, coastal riverine operations, as well as maritime patrol and reconnaissance.
In addition, it will see the participation of littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) along with rescue and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS-50) and forward-deployed P-3 Orion aircraft.
Task Force 74 commander rear admiral William Merz said: "CARAT remains a practical way to address shared maritime security priorities, enhance our capabilities, and improve interoperability between our forces.
"We look forward to operating alongside our Philippine partners as we celebrate the 21st anniversary of the CARAT exercise series."
The exercise will be conducted both on the ground in Puerto Princesa and in the waters and airspace of the Sulu Sea.
The drill will include exchange best practises on naval tactics during a series of military seminars ashore.
Philippine Fleet commander rear admiral Leopoldo Alano said: "We are pleased to host our US Navy partners in Puerto Princesa City this year for CARAT Philippines 2015.
"This is a great training opportunity for both nations to gain valuable experience and increase our interoperability."
CARAT exercises generally features shore-based exchanges, professional symposia and tactical scenarios culminating in combined training at sea.
After completing the present exercise, the US Navy will participate in CARAT exercises with Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste.
Image: Colonel Laut M Zaenal and captain Curtis Gilbert exchange the official minutes of the CARAT. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by mass communication specialist 1st class Jay C Pugh/Released.