MANILA, March 12 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines and the U.S. will hold its 29th annual joint military exercise next month, with at least 8,000 American and Filipino soldiers expected to participate in the training.
Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr. Spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said Tuesday that the joint military exercise, more known as Balikatan, which means "shoulder-to-shoulder" in Filipino, will be held from April 5 to April 17.
The Balikatan exercise will include both traditional military training and delivery of humanitarian assistance to local communities.
Burgos said the staff and field training exercise will be held in Camp O'Donnel and Crow Valley, both in Tarlac province; Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija and Subic Bay in Zambales.
Burgos said this year's Balikatan will focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster response, with participants expected to extend free medical, dental and veterinary care and construct and repair schools in some local communities.