Rody misinformed on war games?

Jaime Laude - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – President Duterte may have been misinformed about the benefits to the country of the military’s joint exercises with US forces, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said yesterday.

The President on Tuesday declared that joint Philippine-US military exercises, such as the recent US-Phl joint Amphibious Landing Exercises only benefit the US and not Filipino soldiers.

Lorenzana said Armed Forces officials have attested to the benefits of such joint exercises to the Philippine military.

But the DND chief admitted it could be the fault of his department or the AFP that Duterte has not been properly informed about the advantages of joint military exercises with the US.

“This is what we will squarely address in the coming days,” he said in Filipino.

He explained one of the benefits is the exposure of Filipino soldiers to modern systems, tactics and war concepts, like in the conduct of joint landings, marksmanship and maneuvers.

The joint military exercises, he added, enhance the skills of Filipino soldiers in the conduct of humanitarian assistance as well as in disaster readiness.

He also cited the US military’s prompt dispatch of its naval and air assets to Tacloban City in 2013 in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda. This was possible because of the presence of the Americans in the country at that time.

“Combined US and Filipino troops also perform medical and dental missions and treat sick persons in far-flung areas during joint training,” Lorenzana said.

“From these exercises, our officers further learn how to analyze the national security problem, make critical decisions by applying their war or combat skills to ensure the country’s security,” he pointed out.

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