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Friday, November 18, 2016, 17:11

China, US militaries stage joint humanitarian relief drill

By Agencies

China, US militaries stage joint humanitarian relief drill
Soldiers from Chinese PLA Southern Theater Command Army and the US Army Pacific carry an injured man from a mocked earthquake-collapsed building as they conducting a joint rescue operation in the China-US Disaster Management Exchange (DME) drill at a PLA's training base in Kunming, southwestern China's Yunnan province, Nov 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

KUNMING, China - Chinese and US troops staged joint drills Friday in an effort to better coordinate a response to humanitarian disasters and build confidence between their militaries.

Held since 2005, the US-China Disaster Management Exchange is part of efforts to build trust and coordination.

The drill aims to help the two militaries better coordinate a response to humanitarian disasters

The weeklong drills included academic exchanges, a command post exercise and on Friday, a live troop exercise in simulated disaster conditions. It included sniffer dogs to find victims amid debris, a water rescue and building a pontoon bridge and refugee shelter.

Deng Yuguang of the Chinese army said the drill offered new perspectives for Chinese troops.

"We have similar exercises by ourselves, but this joint drill is very impressive because the drill helps a lot in improving our disaster rescue and relief capability," Deng said.

Meanwhile, US Army Capt. Jeremy Reynolds said "It has been a very successful exchange of ideas between our two militaries and it will definitely benefit us in organization in the future."

Along with the Kunming drills, the Chinese and US militaries have joined in naval exercises off the coast of Hawaii and other limited multinational drills mainly aimed at dealing with humanitarian disasters. They've also tried to improve mutual trust through agreements on dealing with unexpected encounters at sea.

China, US militaries stage joint humanitarian relief drill
A US Army Pacific soldier calls for medics as he takes part in a rescue mission with soldiers from Chinese PLA Southern Theater Command Army while conducting a search and rescue operation at a mocked earthquake-collapsed building in the China-US Disaster Management Exchange (DME) drill at a PLA's training base in Kunming, southwestern China's Yunnan province, Nov 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

China, US militaries stage joint humanitarian relief drill
A soldier is lowered from a helicopter to practice rescuing a person in the water during the joint rescue operation. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

China, US militaries stage joint humanitarian relief drill
US Army Pacific commander Gen. Robert Brown, left, and Gen. Liu Xiaowu, second left, the commander for Southern Theater Command Army of Chinese Liberation Army (PLA), visit a medical tent set up for the joint drill. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

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