The US handed over six surveillance drones to its ally the Philippines on Tuesday.
THE Philippine Air Force (PAF) inaugurated on Tuesday, March 13, the six newly acquired unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) procured through the foreign military financing (FMF) grant from the United States.
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Lorenzana thanked the U.S. government for its continuous assistance to the Philippines particularly in acquiring weapons and defense equipment as well as service and military training.
The Philippines plans to deploy the drones for surveillance against militants and pirates, and for surveying the aftermath of disasters like typhoons, mudslides and earthquakes.
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Present during the turnover and blessing ceremony of the equipment were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, PAF officers and Colonel Ernest Lee, chief of the Joint US Military Assistance Group in the Philippines, as well as other US embassy representatives.
The United States is the most important military partner of the Philippines, with a decades-old treaty alliance and numerous pacts that enable rotational deployment of USA troops and annual joint exercises.
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Nevertheless, the USA military provided technical support and surveillance vital in helping the Philippines end a five-month occupation of Marawi City by pro-Islamic State rebels previous year. -Philippine alliance despite the challenges posed by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.