The commander of the United States Marine Corps was in the country for two days over the weekend where he stressed the importance of the United States-Philippine alliance and discussed the commitments with local military officials.
General David Berger met with Philippine Armed Forces (AFP) Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Erickson Gloria, Navy Chief, Rear Admiral Adeluis Bordado and Philippine Marine Corps Commander , Major General Ariel Caculitan.
Berger is the third senior US official to visit the country after US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III visited more than a month ago as the two countries celebrated the 70th year of the Mutual Defense Treaty.
Admiral John C. Aquilino, commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, was also in the country last month where he strengthened the defense relationship between the two countries and reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the deal. of security.
A statement from the U.S. Embassy said that Berger, during his meeting with military officials, stressed the importance of the alliance in maintaining peace and stability in the region while improving interoperability to respond to crises. and contingencies.
Berger also spoke of “the importance of realistic training between the United States and the Philippine Marine Corps” when meeting with Caculitan, “highlighting future bilateral exercises such as Kamandag and Balikatan.”
“It is a very important trip for me to visit the leaders of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in person,” Berger said of his trip. “Our defense cooperation has been the cornerstone of 70 years of close and strengthened partnership. “
Meanwhile, the Philippine Navy Fleet began its four-day “PAGBUBUKLOD” exercise at Sangley Point, Cavite on Monday, the objective of which is to harmonize the capabilities of units in the fleet with those of the Philippine Marine Corps. , Navy Special Operations Command, Naval Combat Engineering Brigade. and Naval Reserve Command.
“More specifically, the exercise will test and re-test tactics, techniques and procedures [TTP] of our fleet-to-navy doctrine to address traditional and non-traditional threats affecting the naval operating environment, ”said Commodore Renato David, Deputy Commander of the Philippine Fleet.
David said one of the objectives of the exercise is also “to formulate and assess the competence of a surface action group in the conduct of naval operations.”
Philippine Fleet spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Luna said major exercises that will take place include Operation Maritime Interdiction (MIO with High Angle Marksmanship), Amphibious Air Support (AAS), Maritime Air Surveillance (MAS) / Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), maritime search and rescue (MSAR) and high-risk visit, embarkation, search and seizure (HRVBSS), amphibious assault / raid, insertion / extraction, amphibious maritime transport, tactical maritime transport, capacity force protection, support and sustainment, afloat command and control, gunnery exercise, on-board helicopter operations (HELOPS) and casualty evacuation operations (CASEVAC).