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US warship visits Manila to boost military, community relations

/ 02:57 PM July 22, 2016

The USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) arrived in Manila last Wednesday for a routine port call and to underscore military and community relations with the Philippines.

The visit of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer will highlight the “strong historic, community, and military connections between the Philippines and the United States,” the US Embassy said in a statement.

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“This port visit is an opportunity to experience another culture and act as ambassadors to the Philippines. The importance of our presence here, both at sea and in port, cannot be overstated,” said Lt. Jg. Ben Sleister, Curtis Wilbur’s assistant damage control officer.

During the visit, the sailors of Curtis Wilbur, some of whom are Filipino-Americans, will participate in community relations projects and sporting events.

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Curtis Wilbur and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5 are on patrol in the  7th Fleet area in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific.

In 2014, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement was signed by the Philippines and the US allowing the latter to rotate troops in the Philippines and build and operate facilities on Philippine bases, for both forces.

The Philippines is a longstanding treaty ally of the United States and became a major non-NATO ally in 2003. For 70 years, Philippines has been partners with the American military in combating counter terrorism and transnational crime. Kirsten Jamilla, INQUIRER.net trainee/CDG/rga

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TAGS: missile destroyer, port call, US, USS Curtis Wilbur, Warship
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