MANILA — Ranking Filipino military officials are now in Hawaii to discuss with their American counterparts possible joint exercises that will be held in the Philippines.
This was disclosed by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana when asked what joint military exercises the Philippines can conduct with its American allies following the successful conclusion of “Tempest Wind” on Tuesday.
Tempest Wind, which focused solely on anti-terrorism drills, started on Sept. 18 at various locations in the Philippines and Hawaii.
“The exercises to be held next year is (now) being discussed in Hawaii with the (AFP) chief-of-staff (Gen. Eduardo Año) and some of the Philippine commanders. They all went to Hawaii to attend the MDB-SEB (Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board) with their counterpart and they will discuss there what exercises (that) will be pursued, what will be removed and what will be downgraded,” Lorenzana said.
Updates of the matter will be given by the AFP chief once he returns home next week, he added.
One of the well-known Philippines-US joint military exercises is the annual “Balikatan” where Filipino and American troops conduct drills to enhance their inter-operability in various scenarios including humanitarian assistance and disaster response, anti-terrorism, to name a few. (PNA)