US donates more guns vs terror
The United States military has donated more weapons to boost the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ counterterrorism capabilities.
The US Embassy in Manila said officials of the Joint US Military Assistance Group (Jusmag) recently delivered 1,040 2.75-inch rocket motors and 992 2.75-inch rockets to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) at Clark Air Base, Pampanga.
Last Friday, the US also turned over two Cessna 208B turboprop planes with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to the PAF.
“The munitions and weapons deliveries will enhance the AFP’s counterterrorism capabilities, and directly support AFP members actively engaged in counterterrorism operations in southern Philippines including Marawi,” the Embassy said on Saturday.
The weapons donation was made under the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement.
The embassy said more weapons – including 250 rocket-propelled grenade launchers and 1,000 M203 grenade launchers – would soon be delivered to the Philippine Army this time through the security assistance program.
The two Cessna planes were delivered at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City through the US National Defense Authorization Act Building Partnership Capacity Program.
“The United States is a proud and steadfast ally of the Philippines and will continue to provide support to the AFP’s long-term modernization goals and counterterrorism needs,” the Embassy said.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said joint military exercises between the Philippines and China could not happen until a bilateral security agreement was forged.
Lorenzana said there is a “big chance” such exercises would push through but that is still “in the future.”
“We have military-to-military agreement on exchanges of students for now, nothing large-scale,” Lorenzana said at a Chinese Embassy reception for the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army of China./rga
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