THE United States and Philippine militaries will conduct “subject matter expert exchanges” at Clark Air Base in Pampanga starting today up to January 25, according to the Pacific Air Forces (Pacaf).
Upon the invitation of the Philippine government, the US Air Force, US Army and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) service members will also conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, Pacaf said.
Security officials have recommended a “reduced” number of joint military exercises between the Philippines and the US since President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of a “military and economic separation” from Washington as part of an “independent foreign policy.”
On its website, Pacaf said the exchanges would focus on capability related to the US Air Force’s ground-based satellite imagery system known as “Eagle Vision.”
The system provides “real-time, mission-critical imagery” acquired from commercially available satellites and is a key component of the US Pacific Command’s foreign humanitarian assistance response.
In addition to improving humanitarian and relief capabilities of both nations, the exchanges will promote increased interoperability between US and Filipino forces and strengthen the military relationship between the two long-time allies, Pacaf said.
Headquartered at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Pacaf is one of nine US Air Force major commands, and is the air component of US Pacific Command.
Pacaf, which consists of 46,000 members including active duty personnel, Air National Guard, reserves and civilians, is tasked to provide air and space power to “promote US interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”