Skip to main content

Top PH, US execs to meet on expansion of US military presence

MANILA, Philippines—The foreign and defense secretaries of the Philippines and the United States  are to meet in Washington D.C. on April 30 to discuss a proposed expansion of US military presence in the Philippines, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said Tuesday.
With Del Rosario at the talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will be Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Del Rosario said in a text message, adding that the two sides were still “finalizing the agenda.”
“But I would expect a comprehensive discussion of important bilateral areas of cooperation, especially since this is the first time we will participate in this format,” Del Rosario said.
“We will be guided by having the US as one of two strategic partners for the Philippines—the other being Japan—and also by having the US as our only treaty ally,” he added.
Raul Hernandez, spokesman of the Department of Foreign Affairs, said the meeting “will be the first time ever that the Philippine foreign affairs and defense secretaries together will be meeting with their American counterparts.”
“We are readjusting and fine-tuning our bilateral engagement in view of changes in our regional and global environment,” he said.
“The Philippines and the US are also exploring new modes of cooperation that would enable the Philippines to achieve minimum credible defense capabilities,” he added.
Last January  27, senior officials of the Manila and Washington governments issued a joint statement at the end of a round of strategic talks saying they looked forward to continuing their high-level consultations at the higher level of the foreign and defense secretaries.

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…