U.S.-Filipino Joint Military Drill Begins in South China Sea

Annual drill displays firepower in disputed waters.

The annual military drill between American and Filipino forces began this week and will run until April 28. More than 17,600 military personnel will engage in the Balikatan training exercises, which means “shoulder-to-shoulder” in Tagalog, and will be the largest drill to take place in decades. 

This drill comes at a crucial time as China has increased its aggression. China has held its own training exercises around Taiwan, an independent nation that China claims as its own, and in the South China Sea, an area containing many maritime boundaries that China also claims as its own. In response, many Balikatan exercises will also take place in the South China Sea, where they have traditionally been held for the many years the drills have occurred.

“The relationships that we have, that we build into these exercises, will make us faster to respond to conflict, crisis, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief,” U.S. Marine Major General Eric Austin said.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For U.S. military leaders as they coordinate drills with Filipino forces.
  • For the president and his military advisers as they consider the actions of China.

Sources: Reuters, AP


Back to top