US, Southeast Asian navies hold drills in hotspots

AP News
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Posted: Jun 14, 2011 7:29 AM
US, Southeast Asian navies hold drills in hotspots

The U.S. Navy and Southeast Asian naval forces have begun 10 days of attack drills aimed at combating pirates, terrorists and smugglers in Asia's maritime trouble spots.

Philippine navy spokesman Lt. Col. Omar Tonsay says the annual drills that started Tuesday will involve a U.S. warship with about 100 sailors and counterpart forces from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Tonsay says the USS Safeguard will travel to each of the six Southeast Asian nations and conduct a series of bilateral combat maneuvers, including surveillance, tracking and interdiction of mock enemy vessels while other participants monitor from their countries.

The drills will be held in such trouble spots as the Malacca Strait and the Sulu Sea.