The United States 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade commander based in Okinawa, Japan, said that in the midst of ongoing tensions caused by a territorial dispute between Beijing and Manila, his troops were ready to deploy and assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines defend the country against any foreign aggression.
Brig. General Paul Kennedy said that “This is a busy neighborhood that you live in. The people and your neighbors all have their own aspirations and designs and we realize that this is a challenged range and a contested area.”
“I would tell you that In a worst case scenario if anybody would challenge the sovereignty of this country or should somebody overstep the line their best friends within this region would respond within a matter of hours and generally, I assure you that that is not a hollow promise. Kennedy said.
According to Kennedy, the US Marines consider the Philippines as its “second home.” they can be called upon to help an ally under the Mutual Defense Treaty signed between the US and the Philippines in 1951.
Kennedy issued the announcement taking after reports that the US had sent no less than 30,000 Marines in Hawaii as a feature of its crucial security arrangement in the Asia-Pacific region.
The announcement comes additionally as China proceeds with its reclamation and construction activities on the reefs of the disputed West Philippine Sea, notwithstanding prior declarations that it had ceased.
Kennedy, here for 32nd Philippine Bilateral Exercises that will be held in Ternate, Cavite and run until Oct. 10. According to him every time they are staged it offer new experiences and lessons for their troops.
“In this ever increasingly complex security environment, these lessons are becoming more and more acute and remind us of the seriousness of the business that we have at hand,” Kennedy added.
Spokesman Capt. Jerber Anthony Belonio of the Philippine Marines said PHIBLEX is designed to maintain readiness, enhance interoperability and improve the ability of Marines from both countries.
Belonio said, “Last year, we’ve been to Palawan. This time it will be in Ternate, which is the training ground of our Marines. But our command post exercises would be in Palawan.”
“Our troops will discover new tactics and maneuvers especially using amphibious assault vehicles and all the equipment for the amphibious exercise will be provided by the US Marines,” Belonio added.
PHIBLEX will include a command-post exercise, field-training, live-fire practice and humanitarian and civic assistance projects. A US Marine Corp statement said.
About 1,200 Filipino troops will be joined by 3,500 Marines and sailors from the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, III Marine Expeditionary Force, the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, a Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force and the Navy’s Commander, Task Force 76.
Images used credit to philippinestodayusa.com, strips.com, dailynwzupdate.com, dvidshub.net, gettyimages.com, tmblr.com,
By: Jason Carl / PNA