CAMP SIONGCO, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao del Norte- The Australian Defence Force (ADF) demonstrated its military capabilities in a joint exercise with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) held on February 23, 2023, at Camp Siongco, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao del Norte. The Philippine-Australia Army-to-Army Exercise 2023-1 aimed to deepen the defence relations between Australia and the Philippines and enhance the readiness of both forces in responding to regional security challenges.
Upon arrival at the 6ID Headquarters, The Honorable Richard Marles, MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Australia, and his party were received by Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines, General Andres C Centino Phillippine Army. The Command rendered Battalion-sized Military Honors in front of the Admin Building.
During his visit, The Honorable Richard Marles was briefed on the current security situation in the area and held discussions with military officials on ways to further strengthen the partnership between Australia and the Philippines in matters of defence and security.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, together with Gen. Centino; Lt. Gen. Roy M Galido, Commander, Western Mindanao Command; Major General Alex S Rillera, Commander, 6ID and Joint Task Force Central; and other AFP personnel observed the joint training exercise. The activities included Combat Shooting, Close Quarter Battle, and Tactical Combat Casualty Care.
Major General Alex S Rillera expressed his appreciation that the 6ID was chosen as the venue for the Philippine-Australia Army-to-Army Exercise (PAAAE) 23-1.
“We were honored to host the Australian Defence Force here in Camp Siongco. This joint exercise demonstrated our shared commitment in promoting regional stability and security in the face of complex security challenges. It provided an opportunity for both our forces to learn from each other, share knowledge and skills, and strengthen our friendship and cooperation,” said Major General Rillera.
The joint exercise demonstrated the steadfast commitment of both the Australian and the Philippine governments to deepen their bilateral defense relations and their shared commitment to peace, security, and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Philippines and Australia have a long-standing defence cooperation program, which includes capacity building and training, maritime security, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response. The joint exercise strengthened the partnership further and ensured that both countries were ready to respond to any security challenges that may arise in the region.