Balikatan means teaching US troops how to drink cobra blood

The biggest Balikatan war games in 15 years kicked off on Monday, April 20, against the backdrop of China's continuing reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

The deputy commander of the United States Marine Corps Forces in the Pacific, Brigadier General CJ Mahoney, stressed the need to hold exercises not only with the Philippine military but with other allied militaries in the region. (READ: US to PH: War games 'sharpening the sword and the bolo' vs bullies)

"We are also honing our lethal military skills, the core elements of the profession of arms, to allow us to inter-operate and cooperatively assist each other as well as other nations should the need arise," Mahoney said in his speech at the opening ceremonies of Balikatan 2015.  – Carmela Fonbuena/