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U.S. amphibious landing ship to participate in Philippine-U.S. annual exercise


08:39, April 02, 2013

MANILA, April 1 (Xinhua) -- The United States is sending USS Tortuga, an amphibious dock landing ship of the U.S. 7th Fleet, to the Philippines to participate in the annual bilateral military exercise, the U.S. Embassy in Manila said here Monday.

The ship is to arrive in Manila on Tuesday and then have a brief stop in Subic before taking part in the Philippine-U.S. Balikatan exercises.

During Balikatan exercise, which takes place on the island of Luzon from April 5 to 17, the Tortuga will support Philippine and U.S. troops'joint training for humanitarian assistance and disaster response scenarios, the embassy report said.

USS Tortuga (LSD-46) is part of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and is currently on deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

Earlier, the Philippine military said that six other countries - - Australia, Brunei, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand -- will take part in this year's Balikatan joint military exercise. They will participate in the Multinational Maritime Security Roundtable Discussion, but will not take part in the actual field training exercises which will be limited to Filipino and U.S. forces alone.

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