AFP Chief sees stronger partnership with Australian Government

Photo by TSg Randulf Obinque PAF/PAOAFP

The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) looks forward to holding more bilateral engagements with the Australian Government following the success of this year’s Indo-Pacific Endeavor (IPE 2021).

Lieutenant General Jose Faustino Jr congratulated the Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Steven Robinson AO whom he met on Thursday at the General Headquarters Building in Camp Aguinaldo.

“The AFP acknowledges the significance of participating in this year’s Indo-Pacific Endeavor. Collaboration on activities like IPE echoes our mutual commitment in advancing our partnership to inculcate resiliency in the region through events of beyond military nature,” he said.

Ambassador Robinson said the IPE 2021 has been the most significant maritime activity of the year. “It is tremendous to have the opportunity to have three Australian Navy vessels here in Philippine Waters conducting exercise with you [AFP],” he said.

The IPE held on September 26 to 29 is the Australian Defense Force’s flagship engagement activity with Southeast Asia.

It is aimed at strengthening regional partnerships and collaborations on Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief, Maritime Security, Gender, Peace and Security, increased Interoperability and Capability Integration.

Among activities conducted during IPE 2021 was the Exercise Lumbas participated by the Philippine Navy’s BRP Antonio Luna and Australian vessels (HMAS) Canberra and ANZAC.

Other activities held were the Women, Peace and Security Symposium, Amphibious Symposium, Special Forces Counterpart Talks and Close Quarter Battle Mobile Training.

“The conduct of trainings provides great opportunity for our personnel to advance their skills and knowledge with the Australian forces. I look forward to more engagements and robust bilateral relationship between our countries’ respective military organizations,” said Lieutenant General Faustino.

The Philippines and Australia is celebrating 75 years of long-standing diplomatic partnership as both countries work closely in areas of defense, counter-terrorism, law enforcement, education and development. — AFP

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