(Photo courtesy of Philippine Army)

MANILA – The Philippine Army (PA) on Sunday announced that 3,000 Filipino and American troops will be participating in the 2023 iteration of the "Salaknib" military exercise.

"PA and USARPAC (US Army Pacific) planners, during the course of the activity, laid out the foundation for next year's 'Salaknib'. Nearly 3,000 troops from the USARPAC's 25th Infantry Division and the PA are set to take part in the exercise's two phases that will be held in Central and Northern Luzon and Mindanao," Army spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said in a statement.

The week-long planning for "Salaknib" 2023 took place last Sept. 5 to 9 at the Hotel Conrad in Pasay City.

"Salaknib", which means shield in Ilocano, is an annual combined exercise geared at strengthening the interoperability of both Filipino and American armies in a spectrum of military operations.

PA chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. earlier said the annual combined exercise is a testament to the "long-standing bilateral relations” between the Philippines and the US that will contribute to the “pursuit of a common goal of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region."

Around 2,200 Filipino and US Army troops trained in Central Luzon during the first quarter of this year which focused on capability development of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, the PA's primary combined arms, and rapid deployment unit.

The 20-day exercise started on March 5 this year. (PNA)