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Australia to provide urban warfare training to PH troops

CLARK, Pampanga -- The Australian Defence Force (ADF) would provide Filipino troops urban warfare training, Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said here Tuesday.
Noah Luchansky
PTPA Noah Luchansky
During the Philippines-Australia Joint Conference at the 4th ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Plus, a high-level regional security forum among the regional bloc's member states and other countries, Payne said the ADF would deploy mobile training teams who would provide urban warfare counter-terrorism training in the Philippines in the coming days.

She said the practical training the ADF would provide would ensure that Filipino troops would be more equipped in countering brutal tactics by terrorists.

"Through our significant involvement in the Counter-Daesh campaign in Iraq and Syria, Australia has skills and knowledge that we can share with the Philippines’ Armed Forces," Payne told reporters. Daesh is another term for the Islamic State (IS).

“It’s like made up of mobile training teams, approximately 80 in total. We will go to the appropriate military bases as agreed with the Philippines' Armed Forces and the Philippine Government, to provide the urban warfare training to work with the army and the marines. The focus will be on conducting urban operations,” she added.

The Royal Australian Navy would also conduct ship visits to the Philippines that would involve a range of cooperative activities to help build the Philippine Navy’s capacity, Payne said, noting that this cooperation would begin with next month’s visit of an Australian patrol boat.

She also confirmed that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had agreed to a new range of measures that would strengthen the two countries' cooperation to ensure that the Philippine Armed Forces would be able to face the challenges posed by modern-day terrorism.

“As part of the increased cooperation, we have also agreed to work together to enhance intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in the southern Philippines; strengthen information-sharing arrangements; and enhance maritime security engagement and bilateral maritime patrols,” the Australian defense minister said.

Australia and the Philippines would also co-host a multiagency civil, military and law enforcement seminar on post-conflict rehabilitation efforts later this year, she said, adding that this would focus on lessons from past operations and international and local civil-military-police expertise that would beef up the Filipino troops’ ability to combat terror threats in the long run.

For his part, Lorenzana welcomed the partnership between Manila and Canberra on the extensive Defence Cooperation Program that provides the mechanisms for military support, intelligence sharing, and people-to-people exchanges.

“Minister Payne and I discussed various programs and activities aimed at strengthening the defense cooperation between the two countries, particularly the possibility of visiting combat training facilities in Australia for some members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), as well as information sharing, maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, the growing security concern in the Korean peninsula, and finalizing mutual agreements between the two countries,” he said.

The defense chief said Australia had already offered to provide training based on the Philippines’ needs and Australia’s capabilities, including airspace coordination, urban warfare, and maritime operations.
“While we need the troops now for the training on urban warfare, we also need to build a capacity to… train our troops. So the program that we are going to do in the future is to build our urban fighting centers,” he said.

Lorenzana expressed his gratitude to the Australian government for providing invaluable support to the AFP’s operations against the Maute Group, particularly on increasing operational and situational awareness in the conflict area by providing surveillance planes to help our troops on the ground.

“Truly, the fight against global terror cannot be addressed by one country alone, and we are very much appreciative of Australia’s support for our counter-terrorism program,” he said.

“Together with Minister Payne, I am confident that the Philippines and Australia will continue to strengthen our defense cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two countries,” Lorenzana said. (PNA)

Australia to provide urban warfare training to PH troops Australia to provide urban warfare training to PH troops Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 4:58:00 AM Rating: 5

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