United States and Philippines Conducted 3rd Joint Maritime Patrol

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) and the United States Air Force (USAF) conducted the second phase of a third Maritime Cooperative Activity (MCA) in the South China Sea. The two sides conducted the exercise within the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) yesterday, February 19th.

One USAF B-52H bomber was joined by three PAF FA-50s. One of the main focal points of this exercise is to increase interoperability between the two nations’ air forces. This exercise is a continuation of the third MCA that began on February 9th.

The area patrolled covers 90 nautical miles (167 km) west of Candon, Ilocos Sur province, and 50 nautical miles (93 km) northwest of Lubang, Mindoro province.

Naval vessels were involved earlier in this exercise, including the Philippine Navy’s BRP Gregorio Del Pilar with an AgustaWestland AW109 helicopter and the United States Navy’s U.S.S. Gabrielle Giffords carrying an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter.