U.S. partakes in largest combat drills in decades in the Philippines

April 11, 2023
South China Sea islands

We are demonstrating that we are combat ready.

Col. Michael Logico, a Philippine spokesperson for the American and Filipino combat exercises taking place near the South China Sea this month. This month’s annual drills mark the American and Filipino forces’ largest combat exercises in the region in decades.

Location: The Philippines borders Taiwan and the South China Sea, making it a strategic location for U.S. to maintain troops amid rising tensions with China. The South China Sea is a strategic waterway where an estimated $5 trillion of goods flows through in international trade. China claims it as its territory; America and others want to continue to secure it as international waters.

Why It Matters: The U.S. and Philippines are carrying out a series of drills that are "their largest combat exercises in decades in the Philippines and its waters across the disputed South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait," and will involve 17,600+ military personnel (The Associated Press). The drills were announced last month but come in the wake of major Chinese military exercises targeting Taiwan.

US, Philippines hold war drills across disputed South China Sea (The Associated Press)

US and Philippines begin largest-ever drills after China exercises (BBC News)

by Jenna Lee,