MANILA, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The 5-day joint military exercise between the Philippines and the United States opened Monday in Subic Bay in northern part of the country.
Rear Admiral Charles Williams, Task Force 73 commander, said the 22nd Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise enables U.S. Navy and Marine Corps to develop strong relationships with the Philippine Navy and Marine partners.
"Through persistent presence and relationships, we continue to make steady progress in increasing the complexity of our training and enhancing cooperation between our navies," he said in a statement.
Rear Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado, Armed Forces of the Philippines Philippine Fleet commander, said they look forward to working along-side with their U.S. Navy partners during CARAT 2016.
"CARAT strengthens the strong and enduring relationships between the U.S. and Philippine navies," he said.
Aside from Subic Bay, the exercise would also take place in the waters off Palawan province in western Philippines and at the vicinity of Sulu Sea in southern part of the country.
CARAT Philippines is part of a broader exercise series the U.S. Navy conducts with nine partner nations in South and Southeast Asia to address shared maritime security priorities, strengthen maritime partnerships and enhance interoperability among participating forces.
The Philippines has participated in the exercises since the series began in 1995.