US to share war materiel

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US authorities are working on enhancing the Philippines’ territorial defense, and this may involve sharing war materiel and improving military bases, the US Marine Corps Pacific commander said on Thursday.

“We have a plan [on military installations]and the EDCA [Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement] has been approved. We’re still trying to figure out exactly what we wanted to do to improve some of these former bases and places to better support the territorial defense objectives of the Philippines,” Lt. Gen. John Toolan told reporters at the sidelines of the live fire exercise and the firing of M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) at Crow Valley in Tarlac province, north of Manila.

Toolan said that as an ally, the US is more than happy to share with the Philippines war materiel such as the HIMARS and the V-22 Osprey if the need arises.

The HIMARS is a light multiple rocket launcher mounted on a standard Army Medium Tactical Vehicle (MTV) truck frame.


It was the star in a simulated assault exercise by 5,500 US and Philippine soldiers, unleashing six missiles at distant targets from a dry riverbed three hours’ drive from Manila.

“We’re allies and as allies we need to work together and I think that we’ll be more happy to share,” Toolan said.

When asked if the US will deploy HIMARS to military bases where US troops have gained access, he replied, “That’s not necessarily in the plan but obviously [with]the mobility of the HIMARS, you could use it anywhere.”

The system’s range is 3,000 kilometers, Toolan said, meaning it could hit vessels far from the Philippine land mass.

The truck-mounted missile system had been flown aboard a giant military transport plane to an airport near the Crow Valley firing range earlier in the day from the western Philippine island of Palawan.

Vice Admiral Alexander Lopez, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Command (Westcom) chief, said the HIMARS can be deployed to any part of the Philippines, including disputed waterways.

“We can use that capability should we have one,” Lopez added. “We have seen the capability, highly mobile, lethal so I think that’s one of the capabilities that we want to have.”

He said this year’s military drill is the biggest so far in terms of scope and the kind of equipment used.

“We are really progressing and hopefully by next year we can come up with a better and maybe much bigger exercise. Hopefully we can get in more technologies, newer technologies and hardware,” Lopez added.

Toolan said the two-week maneuvers displayed the capability of both armies to deploy rapidly across the Asian archipelago.

The Philippines has been improving its defense ties with the United States to help upgrade its capability to defend its territory.

It has allowed American forces to rotate through five Philippine bases including one in Palawan and another in the north, both close to the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

With AFP

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3 Comments

  1. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    15 April 2016

    Given the escalating tensions in the West Philippine Sea [the South China Sea], where China has grabbed maritime structures which the Philippines rightly claims are parts of its territory under International Law [UNCLOS], it is providential that the United States. speaking through Lt. General John Toolan, US Marine Corps Pacific Commander, has made it clear “that US authorities are working on enhancing the Philippines’ territorial defense, and this may involve sharing war materiel and improving military bases.”

    This joint effort will be under the terms of the Mutual Defense Treaty, the VFA, and the EDCA between the US and the Philippines as allies.

    Let’s face it: As far as DEFENSE is concerned, the Philippines is virtually “naked” and “defenseless” being the poor country that it is. The reality is that its Defense Establishment–Army, Navy, and Air Force–is tragically unprepared to ably defend the territory of the Philippines, which is supposed to be its raison d’etre–and especially against an economic and military behemoth like China.,

    It is providential that in these times of a potential crisis, the Philippines can count on the help of its ally the United States for the kind of assistance that will make it possible for the Philippines to put up a credible defense of the country if need be.

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    patalinjugmar@gmail.com

  2. matino na pinoy on

    The lost of SAF 44 personnel is completely different story, not lacking of war materials but was led by a very incompetent General named NAPENAS. Those arrogant kababayans that have expressed displeasures about Americans storing their equipment for war and humanitarian purposes, are not saying that much anymore, after the Americans have clearly defined their willingness to help the country. As some arrogant politicians and lowly educated kababayans used to think that Americans have the intention in colonizing the country once again. Our country is NOT strong enough to counter the bullies of our big Chinese neighbor and we should be thankful and humbled by the help extended to us. About the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) of U.S. Servicemen committing crimes in the country? There are more worst crime committed in the country, and these crimes cannot be eliminated by eliminating the presence of U.S. servicemen in our country.

    I have seen the list of weapon systems that will be stored to an Airbase in Palawan, and eventually be used by joint patrol of U.S. & Philippines, are fairly powerful. It seems like eventually, one step at a time, the playing field in South China Sea will be leveled. All those kababayans that have good analytical minds, the U.S. said that they are only interested in complying with the International Law, and will not interfere or side any country about their claims in South China Sea. Are we expecting something good from International Court about the result of suit filed against China?

  3. The AFP and PNP surely need all the help they can get. Just take the case of PNP – they lost 44 personnel trying to arrest ONE alleged terrorist … maybe the Americans can do the fighting in Mindanao … maybe they can do a better job … just a thought.