MANILA, Philippines -- The joint military exercises between the Philippines and the United States called "Balikatan 2013" officially closed Wednesday.
Some 8,000 Filipino and American troops participated in the war games.
Balikatan exercise director Major General Virgilio Domingo said more than war readiness, the training also focused on humanitarian missions and disaster response.
Lieutenant General Terry Robling, commander of the US Marine Forces Pacific, said natural calamities are 25 percent more likely to happen in Asia than in any other parts of the world.
The two officials also said both countries are ready to assist each other amid North Korea's war posturing.
"This Balikatan is a test of how we can work together shoulder to shoulder... This will allow us to work together against any emergency that we may face, both of our countries may face," Domingo said.
Robling said, "A better partnership we have in all things, events, foreign investment, businesses, tourism, those kind of things, the better partners we are, this sends a signal to the rest of the countries in the world and most specifically in the Asia Pacific that as a coalition we are stronger together."
ANC Dateline Philippines, April 17, 2013