US pledge of military support is timely – Oban

THE Armed Forces (AFP) on Wednesday considers the United States’ pledge to support the military’s defense capability as very timely since it has already gained headways in its continuous capability upgrade program.

U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton made a two-day visit to the country to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the US-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).

Clinton said the US vows to always stand and fight with the Philippines to help the country achieve its development goals and address its security concerns.

The military welcomes the United States’ pledge of support in ensuring that the AFP and the US Armed Forces’ collective defense facility and infrastructure are equipped and materially proficient to deter internal, as well as external aggression.

“Sure enough, this will complement our maritime and interdiction operations in the West Philippine Sea. We will accompany this move by continuously implementing our capability upgrade program,” AFP chief, General Eduardo Oban Jr., said in a statement.

The AFP chief addedM “In fact, we are already expecting deliverables late this year and the coming year,”

For the Philippine Air Force, the AFP is expecting 20 units of MG520 helicopters Upgrade, 4 Combat Utility helicopter and one Aerial Recon Camera.

While for the Philippine Army: 62 Civil Military Operations Audio/Visual Systems and for the Navy: one Landing Craft Utility (LCU), three Multi- Purpose Attack Craft, three Jacinto Class Patrol Vessel Upgrade (Weapons System), twenty units of 2 ½ – ton Truck Troop Carrier, 20 units of 1 ¼ – ton Truck troop Carrier, 105 units of 20-watts Radio (Vehicle).

The Deliverables for year 2012 are as follows: for the Philippine Air Force: four Combat Utility Helicopters and six UH-1H Helicopter Acquisition (Refurbished).

For the Philippine Navy: two Coast Watch Station Upgrade.

And for the Philippine Army, one lot C41/GIS, 335 units of Rocket Launcher Light and 100 units of 81-milimiter Mortars.

He added. “Our recently acquired US Hamilton Class Cutter ship, now the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar will be deployed to the West Philippine Sea once it is commissioned at the end of the month, to augment our forces already deployed in the area,”

A US official traveling with Clinton also pronounced that the US will continue its assistance in Southern Mindanao, but will be focusing more on the reinforcement of the

naval capabilities and other aspects of expeditionary military command.

The partnership between the Philippines and U.S. Armed Forces affirms the long standing defense cooperation to beneficially assist both military organizations, He said.

The partnership between the two countries’ military organizations remains healthy, dynamic and beneficial and it continues to highlight the unswerving commitment of both countries’ security forces towards a more secure Asia-Pacific region.

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