USS Tripoli (LHA-7), a United States Navy amphibious assault ship, will remain docked in Manila until October as it is set to participate in the Exercise Kamandag, the Philippine Navy (PN) disclosed Wednesday, Sept. 28.
USS Tripoli was docked in Manila Bay after it arrived in Port Area, Manila on Tuesday.
The PN said that USS Tripoli made a port visit and conducted a replenishment and routine maintenance in preparation for Exercise Kamandag or “Kaagapay ng mga Mandirigma Mula sa Dagat” (Cooperation of Warriors of the Sea).
This year’s iteration of Exercise Kamandag will be held from Oct. 3 to 14.
Exercise Kamandag is an annual joint exercise between the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) and US Marine Corps. Troops from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) will also join the drills.
The PMC-hosted military exercise aims to conduct bilateral exchanges between Filipino and American forces to enhance their interoperability and cooperation, consistent with the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) and Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
The exercise focuses on counter-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR), internal security, and civic assistance operations.
Aboard the USS Tripoli are several units of F-35B Lightning II, a fifth-generation stealth multi-role combat aircraft, which are expected to be utilized in the military exercise.
The F-35B Lightning II is one of the only two types of operational stealth fighters in the world. The other stealth fighter aircraft is called F-22 Raptor, and both are manufactured by American aerospace firm Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.
SIGN UP TO DAILY NEWSLETTER