Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines, a counter-terrorism unit of United States, was pulled out of Zamboanga during the start of this year’s second quarter, but a number of troops were left to help Western Mindanao Command in counter-terrorism activities.
A ranking US army officer confirmed that JSOTF-P is still active but with decreased deployed US commandos and that Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines is still running.
Operation Enduring Freedom is United States’ anti-terrorism campaign that has operations across the globe.
With US commandos still in the Philippines, Balance Piston – an army-to-army special operation exercise – continues.
Balance Piston started Wednesday, November 5. Special Operation Command of Philippine Army and US Pacific Command will undergo a three-week capability enhancement training which involve marksmanship, helicopter medical evaluation, combat lifesaving techniques, cross training RP and US personnel on airborne operations, and medical civic operations.
“The long-standing alliance between The Philippines and the United States has contributed to peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region for more than 60 years,” a representative from US Pacific Command said.
The representative added that Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement “will facilitate the enhanced rotational presence of U.S. forces, expand opportunities for bilateral training, and support the long-term modernization of the armed forces of The Philippines.”