20 June 2017

News Story: Philippines, US navies hold joint maritime training in Cebu

MANILA, Philippines — The naval forces of the Philippines and the United States on Monday kicked off its joint maritime training activity in the vicinity of Cebu.

The Maritime Training Activity Sama Sama from June 19 to 25 seeks to enhance the complexity and diversity of training opportunities while strengthening the Philippines-US alliance.

The activity will focus on mutual security concerns such as piracy and sea smuggling, maritime domain awareness and patrol and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness.

"We thank the Philippine Navy and the people of the Philippines for being gracious hosts and we look forward to enhancing our professional ties in meaningful ways that benefit both nations," Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson, commander of Task Force 73, said.

Gabrielson added that the joint training would be an opportunity to deepen the US Navy's long-time maritime partnership with the Philippine Navy.

Commodore Loumer Bernabe, commander of the Naval Forces Central of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said that the training will strengthen relationships and partnerships in maritime cooperation.

"We are honored to work with the U.S. Navy during this Maritime Training Activity Sama Sama," Bernabe said.

"Sama-sama," a Filipino word which means "together" is the central theme of the training both at sea and ashore.

Read the full story at PhilStar