U.S., Philippine underscore importance of regional stability

Gen. Charles Flynn, U.S. Army Pacific Commanding General, and U.S. Navy 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Karl Thomas visited the Philippines (February 21 to 24) to meet with military leaders and underscore the U.S.’ commitment to the Philippines and the Indo-Pacific region.

Both commanders separately met with U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Heather Variava, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Andres Centino, and the commanders of their respective branches of service to discuss further opportunities to work together to build more capable and interoperable forces.

Gen. Flynn met with Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner, Commanding General of the Philippine Army, Maj. Gen. Connor Canlas, Commanding General of the Philippine Air Force, and traveled to Basa Air Base and Fort Magsaysay to discuss details of the upcoming Salaknib and Balikatan exercises with the 7th Infantry Division and 1st Brigade Combat Team commanders.

“The Philippines is a key ally in ensuring stability in the region,” said Gen. Flynn. “I look forward to our upcoming exercises—Salaknib and Balikatan—and also to future opportunities to enhance readiness and interoperability between our two armies.”

Vice Adm. Thomas’ visit included a courtesy call with Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Adm. Adeluis Bordado and staff talks with other Philippine Navy counterparts to discuss pertinent issues that will be brought to the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Board and Security Engagement Board.

“Having open lines of communication with our partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific is vital to our lasting commitments and strong presence in the region,” said Vice Adm. Thomas. “Holding maritime discussions face-to-face with Philippine leadership is important to our alliance and navies, and I look forward to continued engagements in the future.”

The 7th Fleet delegation also visited the Subic Bay Port leadership, received a tour of Subic Bay Port facilities, and participated in a wreath-laying ceremony in honor of the World War 2 liberation of the Philippines.

Photo credit: Commanding General of U.S. Army Pacific Gen. Charles Flynn meets with Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Andres Centino.  Courtesy photo from the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines.

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