This comes as the U.S. and Philippines launched air defense missiles for a live fire exercise at a naval base north of Manila on April 25 as part of their annual joint drills.
The exercises aim to improve aerial defense near the disputed Spratlys Islands in the South China Sea.
“We are absolutely committed to going at the pace and the desires of partners, allies in the region, but also to make sure that we are prepared in order to provide ready forces as necessary.”
Tuesday’s drills are part of a nearly three-week annual bilateral exercise between Manila and the U.S.
This year is the largest in scale yet, with over 17,000 participating soldiers.