LOOK: Filipino, American soldiers hold Salaknib exercises
MANILA, Philippines – Filipino and American soldiers held 12-day lessons and exercises in a program called Salaknib, as they prepare for the annual Balikatan military exercises in May 2018.
In a statement on Tuesday, November 28, the US embassy in Manila said the Philippine and US troops "participated in subject matter expert exchanges and practical exercises."
Held in Luzon from November 16 to 27, Salaknib aimed to boost the two countries' decades-long military alliance. Part B of Salaknib is set for April 2018.
"The American and Filipino soldiers shared information such as gunnery procedures and maintenance for the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, artillery tactics and processes, as well as study and validation of the PA Sustainment Functional Concept Document, which establishes a common framework to guide developments for sustaining future Army operations," the US embassy said in a statement.
"The Philippine soldiers then fired Artillery and M113 Gunnery to demonstrate their newly burnished skills," the embassy added.
This comes even as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to move away from Washington – and closer to Beijing and Moscow – as he detests supposed American interference in his anti-drug campaign.
In June, Duterte had no choice but to thank Americans after the US helped the Philippine military in war-ravaged Marawi City.