US trains Philippines on how to use drones amid China fears

By AFP, US troops trained their Philippine counterparts how to use surveillance drones on Friday, as Manila seeks to boost military ties with Washington and counter what it perceives as a rising security threat from China. The naval exercises are part of annual training operations between the two defence partners, but they have come under closer scrutiny this year due to simmering tensions between Manila and Beijing over rival claims to the South China Sea. At a naval base around 13 kilometres southwest of the capital Manila, US Navy SEALs trained Filipino soldiers how to use small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones, launching one from a boat out at sea after which it circled the base and landed in the water. US maritime civil affairs officer Jeremy Eden said these were the smaller “Puma” drones used only for surveillance and not the more lethal, armed versions employed in Afghanistan. (Source)


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