Manila (Agencies): Despite escalating conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, combat-readiness exercises between the United States and the Philippines will continue undeterred. Major General Marcus Evans, commanding the US Army’s 25th Infantry Division, assured that the annual joint drills, involving thousands of forces, would proceed without disruption.
The Biden administration’s strategic focus on the Indo-Pacific region aims to bolster military alliances and counter China’s influence. While concerns lingered about resource diversion due to ongoing conflicts, General Evans emphasized that their presence remained steadfast. In fact, the geopolitical challenges only underscored the urgency of maintaining strong partnerships forged over decades.
General Evans, currently based in Hawaii, recently met with Philippine army counterparts in Manila to discuss large-scale combat maneuvers. These exercises include the Salaknib, initiated in 2016 as army-to-army drills, and the Balikatan, a term signifying shoulder-to-shoulder cooperation. Notably, the Balikatan exercises involved over 17,600 military personnel in April 2023, marking a significant display of joint readiness.
As tensions persist globally, the commitment to regional security remains resolute, reinforcing the enduring bond between the US and the Philippines in safeguarding stability and deterring potential threats.