WTTC TOURISM SUMMIT. World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) president Julia Simpson (left), Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat (middle), and WTTC Chairman Arnold Donald (right), during the kick off of the 21st WTTC annual Global Summit held at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City on Wednesday (April 20, 2022). The most influential travel and tourism event gathered industry leaders and government representatives aimed to continue aligning efforts to support the sector’s recovery from the pandemic.(MNS photo)

MANILA, Apr 21 (Mabuhay) — The defense ties between the Philippines and Australia got a further boost following the courtesy call on Wednesday of Australian Ambassador Steven J. Robinson AO to Army commander Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. in Fort Bonifacio.

“The CGPA (Commanding General Philippine Army) and Ambassador Robinson discussed how the Australian Army could help the Philippine Army transition to focus on territorial defense operations,” Army spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said on Thursday.

Trinidad said “it was discussed how they (Australia) can help the Army. These can be achieved thru military exercises and bolster the capabilities and interoperability of both armies against all forms of threats,” Trinidad said in a message to the Philippine News Agency.

He added the PA has been strengthening its relations with its neighboring armies and partners.

“The Army benefits from multilateral engagements with its counterparts to acquire knowledge, share experiences, and enhance its relations. We have been engaging our military counterparts in the region and military exercises are often discussed for both parties as a way to strengthen the interoperability of both parties in addressing threats,” Trinidad said.

He added that three agreements underpin the Philippine-Australia bilateral defense ties — the 1995 Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperative Defense Activities; the Philippines-Australia Status of Visiting Forces Agreement; and the 2015 Comprehensive Partnership Agreement.

“The PA, Australian Army, Philippine Marine Corps, and the US Marine Corps are scheduled to hold the 2022 edition of Carabaroo, a trilateral combined-joint exercise aimed at enhancing participating forces’ counter-terrorism and counter-violent extremism capabilities, as well as bolstering collective resolve, teamwork, mutual learning,” Trinidad said.

Also, PA Special Forces Regiment (Airborne), First Scout Ranger Regiment, Light Reaction Regiment, and their counterparts from the Australian Army are slated to conduct the annual Dusk Caracha, a combined bilateral exercise aimed at enhancing interoperability and counter-terrorism and other non-traditional capabilities of both armies. (MNS)

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