Mon, 27 Mar 2023

ZAMBOANGA CITY - The United States (US) government has reaffirmed its commitment to support its allies, including the Philippines, in their campaigns against terrorism and in sustaining peace.

This was relayed by US Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III in a meeting with the top Philippine military when he visited Wednesday the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) headquarters in this city.

The US has been providing training and technical assistance to Filipino troops in combating terrorism like the Islamic State for Iraq and Syria-linked Abu Sayyaf Group and Dawlah Islamiya as well as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

In a statement Thursday, Westmincom said the meeting with Austin focused on strengthening cooperation and establishing a good relationship between the Philippine military and the newly deployed members of the United States of America's Special Operations Task Force (SOTF) 511.2.

The Philippine military officials who met with Austin at the Westmincom headquarters here include Gen. Andres Centino, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP); Vice Admiral Toribio Adaci Jr., flag-officer-in-command of the Philippine Navy; Maj. Gen. Roy Galido, Westmincom chief; and Maj. Gen. Araus Musico, commander of the Air Combat Command of the Philippine Air Force.

Austin also visited the headquarters of SOTF 511.2 located inside Camp Navarro before he returned to Manila.

The new team of the SOTF 511.2 arrived here on Monday, replacing the team headed by Maj. Scott Cook.

Galido said they were grateful and fortunate to be visited by the US Defense secretary.

"This shows how strong our working relationship is and how committed our most powerful ally is to help us in addressing our security issues here in the southern part of the Philippines," he said. (PNA)

More Philippines News

Access More

Sign up for Philippines News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!