Skip to main content

US to increase joint military exercises with Philippines

THE United States plans to increase joint military exercises with the Philippines, American senators who met with President Benigno Aquino III in Malacanang said on Tuesday.
The announcement was made after Arizona Senator John McCain and three other American senators, Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire visited the country.
The move forms part of the US' intention to increase its naval and air assets in the Asia Pacific Region.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin welcomed the move, saying that it will improve the country's capabilities.
The joint military exercises will "enhance" Philippines' experience, capabilities, and abilities to protect its territorial integrity, Lacierda said.
But this does not mean that the US is establishing bases in the country, Lacierda said.
During the meeting, which was attended by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, the government also announced plans of acquiting another Hamilton class cutter to beef up the country’s maritime defense.
Last year, the Aquino administration received a Hamilton class cutter from the US named BRP Gregorio del Pilar and now being deployed to the West Philippine Sea.
Aquino also briefed the American senators about the impeachment trial on Chief Justice Renato Corona, Lacierda said.
"They will not like to be involved in the internal events in the Philippines but they were briefed by the President because that’s the hot thing going on right now," he said.
Lacierda said President Aquino was also lauded by McCain for his high approval ratings while Lieberman was impressed with the way Aquino was running the country and with his efforts on good governance. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)
Wednesday, January 18, 2012


More Philippine Defense News

DND wants frigate with 'surface-to-air' missile power

MANILA, Philippines - Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez announced on Friday that one of the frigates to be acquired by the Philippines will have "surface-to-air" capabilities. That is, the ship will have the capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at airborne targets.
"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.
He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done through a government-to-government transaction.
The Philippines has taken on a new sense of urgency to upgrade its naval capabilities as tensions continue to rise around the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). US President Barack Obama's announced "pivot" for America towards the Pacific has stirred greater naval activity on the p…

No reduction in AFP manpower size

THERE will be no reduction in the number of soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines when it implements the streamlining of commands by 2013, a senior officer told the Manila Standard in an exclusive interview.
“Under the Force Structure Review, there will be streamlining of units but this does not mean reduction in terms of the number of soldiers. In fact, the FSR calls for more recruits in the future,” the source, who requested anonymity, said.
At present, the military has a total of 125,000 soldiers, of which almost 85,000 are in the Army and the rest in the Navy-Marines and Air Force.
The FSR calls for an in-depth study of the AFP history in reference to pertinent laws of the land in conjunction with the challenges of internal and external defense.
The study also calls for the establishment of a strategic command that will focus on external defense where the main force would be the Air Force and Navy.
On instructions of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, former military ch…

Philippine Armored Vehicles with ad-hoc wood slat armor

While searching for Philippine armored vehicles for the updates being done for both the blog and the Facebook page I chanced upon images of Philippine Army and Marine armor assets covered with thick wood planks as slat armor for protection from rocket propelled grenades. This caught the eyes of Popular Mechanics who published an article last June 8th just for this subject.

According to the article,
Wood armor on armored vehicles won't save them from ISIS rockets. Not sure, I'll leave that to the actual reports from the Philippine Military in using wood as an ad hoc protection for rpg's, but yes this is only during emergencies. The Philippine Army and Philippine Marines should employ or use the real add-on armors currently in the market for armored vehicle protection. Or they could just simply buy new thicker-armored vehicles to be used for front-line operations and have the old vehicles to be used in secondary missions or as support vehicles.

Nonetheless the fast-thinkin…