The United States Navy on Monday said that it is willing to give some equipment needed for the Navy modernization training of the Philippine Navy’s personnel.
“We can contribute, certainly from a standpoint of training, there might be some opportunities for us to contribute some equipment to enhance interoperability between our two navies as these capabilities would allow us to work more seamlessly together,” US Navy chief of naval operations Admiral John Richardson said during a media briefing with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
AFP deputy chief for plans Major General Restituto Padilla added that the Armed Forces’ modernization, as a whole, is faring well mainly because of President Rodrigo Duterte’s support.
“We are very fortunate to have a commander-in-chief who himself is the one strongly and hastily trying to advocate for strengthening the armed forces through a hastened AFP modernization,” Padilla said.
The AFP also said that the administration has proven this commitment through its budget allocation for the military’s modernization program.
“Their commitment has been solidified with the P25 billion pesos guaranteed inclusion in the GAA (General Appropriations Act) of every year up to the end of his term to ensure that the major projects in the AFP modernization will push through,” he added.
AFP chief General Carlito Galvez Jr. expressed his gratitude for Richardson’s two-day visit in the Philippines.
“It is an honor for us because it’s a first time, I believe… in my knowledge that the Flag Officer-in-Command of the US Navy has visited us here in the Philippines,” Galvez said.
Galvez added that aside from the modernization program, they have been able to discuss about the two countries’ alliance in the Indo-Pacific region and efforts toward continuous regional security.
“For more than 70 years the United States and the Philippines have remained steadfast friends, partners, and allies dedicated to ensuring security, order, and prosperity throughout the region, and our relationship is built not just on shared values but also on strong people to people and societal ties,” Richardson said.
Moreover, the AFP mentioned that Duterte sees the value of maintaining military alliance not only with the US but also with other countries such as Russia and China, citing the recent port visit of the Philippine Navy to Vladivostok, Russia and the increasing engagements with the Chinese military.
“The point here is that as we venture out to meet challenges of the future it is better to be in dialogue with all the militaries… in case of any security challenges or any kind of road that we have to meet headways there will be channels for communication that may diffuse any situation that may be in the offing,” Padilla said. — RSJ, GMA News