coast guard cutter bertholf (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class David Weydert)

Coast Guard Visits Philippines for First Time in Seven Years After Training in South China Sea

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bertholf, on loan to the Navy’s 7th Fleet and busy across the western Pacific, joined Philippine coast guard vessels for training and maneuvers Tuesday in the South China Sea.

The Bertholf and Philippine vessels BRP Batangas and BRP Kalanggaman practiced search-and-rescue scenarios and other procedures near Scarborough Shoal in disputed waters off the western coast of the Philippines, the Navy said in a statement Wednesday.

Chinese coast guard vessels stood off and observed the U.S.-Philippine exercises but did not interfere, according to a report Thursday by NHK, the public broadcasting service in Japan.

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