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More than 5,000 US and Filipino troops have begun two weeks of military exercises to flex their muscle in jointly dealing with potential crisis in the Philippines, which is prone to natural disasters and has been locked in a dangerous standoff with China over a disputed shoal. This year's war games focuses on maritime security and humanitarian assistance especially in dealing with disasters.

US Army SPC William Walsh of Wis., prepares to fire his sniper's rifle during the live-fire joint US-Philippines military exercise dubbed Balikatan 2014, Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Philippine Army training camp, Fort Magsaysay, in northern Philippines. – Photo by AP
US Army SPC William Walsh of Wis., prepares to fire his sniper's rifle during the live-fire joint US-Philippines military exercise dubbed Balikatan 2014, Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Philippine Army training camp, Fort Magsaysay, in northern Philippines. – Photo by AP
Filipino soldiers fire their weapons at a mock target during a live-fire exercise with their US counterpart at the ongoing joint US-Philippines military exercise dubbed Balikatan 2014, Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Philippine Army training camp at Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija province in northern Philippines. – Photo by AP
Filipino soldiers fire their weapons at a mock target during a live-fire exercise with their US counterpart at the ongoing joint US-Philippines military exercise dubbed Balikatan 2014, Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Philippine Army training camp at Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija province in northern Philippines. – Photo by AP
A US Army officer, right, watches as his Philippine counterpart fire their weapons to simulate a raid during the live-fire joint US-Philippines military exercise dubbed Balikatan 2014, Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Philippine Army training camp, Fort Magsaysay, in northern Philippines. – Photo by AP
A US Army officer, right, watches as his Philippine counterpart fire their weapons to simulate a raid during the live-fire joint US-Philippines military exercise dubbed Balikatan 2014, Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Philippine Army training camp, Fort Magsaysay, in northern Philippines. – Photo by AP
A US Army officer gestures as his Philippine counterpart prepare to fire their weapons in a live-fire exercise at the ongoing joint US-Philippines military exercise dubbed Balikatan 2014, Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Philippine Army training camp at Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija province in northern Philippines. – Photo by AP
A US Army officer gestures as his Philippine counterpart prepare to fire their weapons in a live-fire exercise at the ongoing joint US-Philippines military exercise dubbed Balikatan 2014, Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Philippine Army training camp at Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija province in northern Philippines. – Photo by AP
Filipino soldiers walk back to their positions after their live-fire exercise in the ongoing joint US-Philippines military exercise dubbed Balikatan 2014 Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Philippine Army training camp at Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija province in northern Philippines. – Photo by AP
Filipino soldiers walk back to their positions after their live-fire exercise in the ongoing joint US-Philippines military exercise dubbed Balikatan 2014 Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Philippine Army training camp at Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija province in northern Philippines. – Photo by AP
Philippine soldiers fire their weapons during a live fire exercise with their US counterpart (not pictured) at Fort Magsaysay, in Nueva Ecija province north of Manila on May 10, 2014. – Photo by AFP
Philippine soldiers fire their weapons during a live fire exercise with their US counterpart (not pictured) at Fort Magsaysay, in Nueva Ecija province north of Manila on May 10, 2014. – Photo by AFP
A Philippine soldier fires a machine gun during a live fire exercise at Fort Magsaysay, in Nueva Ecija province north of Manila on May 10, 2014. – Photo by AFP
A Philippine soldier fires a machine gun during a live fire exercise at Fort Magsaysay, in Nueva Ecija province north of Manila on May 10, 2014. – Photo by AFP

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