MANILA, Philippines - Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa Saturday has for more multilateral exercises with its military counterparts in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to expand regional interoperability on Counter Terrorism, Maritime Security, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and Peace Keeping Operations (PKO).
Dellosa said this during at the ASEAN Chiefs of Defense Forces Informal Meeting (ACDFIM) 2012 held in Cambodia.
The three-day event, held on March 28-30 is a platform for the region’s cooperative military mechanisms geared at discussing significant security matters.
Dellosa said that the four major areas of cooperation have been prioritized by the senior leaders in the ASEAN Defense-Military Meeting (ADMM) and ASEAN Defense Senior Officials' Meeting (ADSOM).
He said that regional interoperability can be achieved by holding multi-lateral exercises that will simulate trans-border emergency security situations.
The AFP chief of staff also said that the conduct of joint studies, conferences, and intelligence exchange will result to better interoperability in counter-terrorism, maritime security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and peacekeeping operations.
In battling terrorism, Dellosa lauded the success and called for the replication of AFP-hosted gatherings aimed at contributing to regional efforts to improve the counter-terrorism among ASEAN member-states.
One of these is the inaugural ASEAN Militaries Analyst-to-Analyst Intelligence Exchange (AMAAIE) Conference on Terrorism last year.
He also suggested stronger intelligence exchange among neighbor nations, multilateral counter-terrorism military exercises, and joint studies in aid of collective counter-terrorism efforts.
“I am aware that this proposal is a tedious task especially considering the absence of visiting forces agreements and the incompatibility of our equipment and doctrines. Nevertheless, I am optimistic that we could turn this proposal into a reality in the near future,” Dellosa said in his presentation at the Intercontinental Phnom Penh Hotel in the nation’s capital yesterday.
In terms of maritime security, Dellosa also suggested a similar framework of multilateral exchanges and exercises through a Maritime Security Regime among ASEAN members, as well as the establishment of an online network for information exchange on anti-piracy operations, illegal fishing, poaching and other transnational crimes.
“While it is a fact that one of the primary mechanisms to achieve interoperability is the holding of joint military maneuvers, which bring together forces from across the region to hone command and control capabilities, these can also be attained through the exchange of strategies and doctrines, fusion of combat and support processes and procedures, and network convergence,” Dellosa added.
On the other hand, Dellosa discussed the relevance of the Command Post Exercise in this year’s Balikatan Exercises on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR).
Balikatan 2012 will involve participants from other countries in table top exercises designed to enhance interoperability in HADR.
“The AFP has also earmarked modest military assets and capabilities that may be deployed to ASEAN member states to provide HADR in order to save lives and alleviate people’s suffering in times of disasters when requested,” Dellosa said.
Having been praised in its peacekeeping involvement in the United Nations, the AFP also expressed keen interest in expanding its peacekeeping operations (PKO). “The findings of our ADSOM-Plus EWG on PKO reveal that our member states have diverse peacekeeping capabilities, ranging from those with developed peacekeeping centers and those that have just decided to venture into peacekeeping,” said Dellosa.
ACDFIM is part of a series of ADMM that also include the ASEAN Military Intelligence Informal Meeting (AMIIM) and ASEAN Military Operations Informal Meeting (AMOIM), which was both held on March 26-30. The meetings were attended by armed forces chiefs, as well as senior intelligence and operations officers of ASEAN member nations.
“As the AFP remains committed towards regional cooperation, it is my fervent hope that we will carry out concrete steps in the short term to build our capacities that will enhance force interoperability in ASEAN into the future,“ Dellosa added