US military focused on helping PHL develop territorial defense capability

Among the major priorities of United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) in the Philippines is to help develop Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)’s territorial defense capability and ensure that Mindanao will not become a safe-haven for terrorists.

Admiral Philip S. Davidson, Commander of USINDOPACOM, said in his prepared testimony provided to US Senate Armed Services Committee on February 12 that “the Philippines is a treaty ally and a partner in preserving a Free and Open IndoPacific.”

He added that US-PHL military-to-military relationship has never been stronger. “USINDOAPCOM has increased the number and scope of exercises in recent years, to include the resumption of live-fire exercises.”

“Terrorism continues to pose a security challenge in the Philippines, and USINDOPACOM is committed to helping the Philippines ensure that the southern Philippines does not become a safe-haven for terrorists that would threaten the entire region,” he explained.

“I am also focused on helping to develop the territorial defense capability of the Armed Forces Philippines (AFP) and look forward to re-engaging with the Philippines National Police Maritime Group to continue improving their ability to protect their sovereign interests,” Admiral Davidson said.