The U.S. and Philippines navies kicked off Maritime Training Activity (MTA) Sama Sama at Naval Station Ernesto Ogbinar in San Fernando City, Philippines, July 9.
The week-long engagement focuses on the full spectrum of naval capabilities and is designed to strengthen the close partnership between both navies while cooperatively ensuring maritime security, stability and prosperity.
Expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Millinocket (T-EPF 3), diving and salvage ship USNS Salvor (T-ARS 52) and a P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft will operate alongside Philippine Navy frigate BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF 16) and landing dock ship BRP Tarlac (LD 601) in at-sea evolutions in the South China Sea. Evolutions include air defense exercises (ADEX) aimed to increase proficiency in air and missile defense, diving exercises (DIVEX) to promote mutual efficiency underwater, and search and rescue exercises (SAREX) designed to enhance capabilities in aid-and-assistance to distressed mariners.
Shore phase evolutions include symposiums and seminars on a wide range of naval capabilities including medical, public affairs, engineering, explosive ordnance disposal and anti-submarine and surface operations in various locations.