Friday 10 March 2017

Greater Defense ties sought by Philippines with Australia

 Huffington Post Australia
In terms of military-to-military engagement between the Philippines, Australia is second to the Unites States of America.

"We have signed a Status of Visiting Forces Agreement with Australia that governs the Exercise Dawn Caracha between armies and Exercise Lumbas between navies here in the Philippines, as well as the Exercise Dusk Caracha between armies in Australia," Lorenzana said.

The country is an active participant in the Australian Kakadu while the latter’s army also participates in our yearly Balikatan exercises between the American and Filipino troops.

Military exercises is one way for the Philippines to learn from Australia’s best practices, and this includes Australia’s wide range of military doctrines and defense equipment.

As a matter of fact as early as now, the Australian military counterparts has signified that they will send Australian soldiers that will be part of the US-Philippines Balikatan Military exercise 2017.

"Australian military has a lot of things that our AFP currently needs: tactics, best operational practices and defense equipment. Presently, we already have a robust military to military engagement on exercises in the Philippines as well as in Australia through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA),"  said Lorenzana.

In 2015, Australia donated two former Royal Australian Navy(RAN) landing crafts-heavy (LCH) to the Philippine Navy, its intention was to improve the Philippines sealift capability, which was found lacking following the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. Yolanda (International name : Haiyan) was considered the strongest typhoon recorder in this century.
Philippine Navy official Facebook page

Also, the country acquired the remaining three former LCH of the same class that was offered by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). It was reported that the Philippines acquired the three ships for the amount of US$16.5 million, including refurbishing works.

"In terms of joint military exercises with Australia, I deem it necessary not only to increase interoperability among Allied countries but also to develop inter-military and maritime cooperation," the  Defense Secretary said.
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