US, PHL armies move to ensure alliance, mutual defense remain strong

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The Philippine Army and United States Army Pacific (USARPAC) discussed how the two armies will strengthen defense capabilities through future engagements during the 8th Executive Steering Group Meeting held at Fort Bonifacio on January 29.

Army Commanding General Lieutenant General Gilbert Gapay and USARPAC Deputy Commanding General Major General John Johnson led the meeting.

“We have come prepared and determined to plan out the next actions that will further strengthen our alliance. I am confident that we are moving in the right direction towards ensuring that the alliance remains strong, dynamic and relevant,” Gapay said.

At the meeting, Lieutenant General Gapay reiterated the Army’s desire to boost its aviation, air defense, airborne, combat engineer, fires, sustainment operations, and cyber security capabilities as well as its combined arms training methods and doctrine.

Major General Johnson mentioned their gains particularly in expanding USARPAC’s operational experience in an archipelagic environment such as the Philippines.  

“Everything we do here should support the mutual defense training and demonstrate the commitment that we have for each other. We learn together, we become more capable and we build trust,” Johnson said.