🇺🇸–🇦🇺–🇵🇭@USARPAC @DefenceAust and @yourphilarmy conduct a littoral live-fire event during #Balikatan23, providing opportunities for #FriendsPartnersAllies to strengthen combat #Readiness and interoperability in support of a #FreeAndOpenIndoPacific.— U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (@INDOPACOM) April 27, 2023
📸: Cpl Tyler Andrews pic.twitter.com/xbD7mDWgtV
You may recall we wrote about the Chinese activities which commenced on April 10, here, when three Chinese warships sailed in waters surrounding Taiwan.
On April 18 as we reported here, the second aircraft carrier of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, the Shandong, was seen conducting intensive drills near Guam.
On April 20, the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) Anzac-class frigate, HMAS Anzac, commenced a regional presence deployment to Southeast Asia, to support Operation Argos, the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) commitment to the international effort to enforce United Nations Security Council sanctions on North Korea. Anzac will participate in the annual Five Power Defence Arrangements exercise, Bersama Shield, which enhances interoperability between Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom. Anzac will also participate in Exercise Lumbas, which aims to deepen interoperability between the Philippine Navy and RAN. Now in its 23rd iteration, Exercise Lumbas is one of the RAN’s longest-running continuous engagements in the region.
Today, saw the last day of the Balikatan 23 exercises in the Pacific which began on April 11, when a combined force of Filipino and American troops sank a decommissioned corvette of the Philippine Navy during a littoral live-fire drill in the waters off Zambales in Central Luzon on Wednesday.
The sinking in the coastal waters of the South China Sea of former corvette BRP Pangasinan was the first in the history of the U.S.-Philippines bilateral exercise and was one of the last events of the annual Balikatan series.
This was the first time the Philippines and US conducted such an activity together. 17,600 participants included 12,200 US troops and 5,400 Philippine soldiers, working on maritime security, amphibious operations, live-fire exercise, urban operations, aviation operations, counterterrorism, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response.
All this Indo-Pacific activity is beginning to attract attention. The thread on the tweet below is open to all people, even if you do not have a Twitter account and I encourage you to look at it.
The US, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, France, China, Russia, & North Korea are operating & exercising in the same region.— Ian Ellis (@ianellisjones) April 27, 2023
The most powerful & advanced militaries in the history of the world are in close proximity with 0 margin for error. https://t.co/OhheGM3z2Z
A Chinese coast guard ship cut off a Philippine vessel carrying journalists in the South China Sea, almost causing a collision near the disputed Spratly Islands. 🇵🇭🇺🇸— Ian Ellis (@ianellisjones) April 27, 2023
“Since you have disregarded our warning, we will take further necessary measures on you,” China reportedly said. pic.twitter.com/wkPSMLZrxO
The US Army’s Patriot missile-defense system shot down a pair of targets flying off Luzon’s western coast, marking the first time the weapon has been fired in the Philippine Sea. 🇵🇭🇺🇸— Ian Ellis (@ianellisjones) April 27, 2023
PAC-2 Patriot missiles can reach as high as 20 miles and travel up to 60 miles. pic.twitter.com/OLpZyirnfK
And just yesterday
US Sending Nuclear Submarines To South Korea For 1st Time In 40 Years https://t.co/ICSjJRyMzx— zerohedge (@zerohedge) April 26, 2023
BREAKING: 38 Chinese warplanes and 6 vessels of People’s Liberation Army Navy detected around Taiwan, Taiwanese defense ministry says— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) April 28, 2023