October 23, 2017
CLARK, Pampanga -- Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne visited the crew of AP-3C Orion surveillance aircraft as she arrived in the country to participate in the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting here Monday.
Payne visited the members of the Australian Defense Force (ADF) crew of the AP-3C Orion that was deployed in the country since June of this year.
The aircraft was deployed by the Australian government to help the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) operation against the Maute-Abu Sayyaf terrorists that occupied the city of Marawi since May 23, 2017.
In her speech, Payne recognized the contribution of the Australian Defense Force on the effective engagements with the Philippine military.
“I want to thank those men and women of the ADF. Thank them for the contribution they have made the work that they have done. Also I thank their families for supporting them during the time that they have been away,” Payne said.
“I want to acknowledge the very real contribution that our ability to work with the government of the Philippines and the Armed Forces of the Philippines makes in terms of effective regional engagements,” she added.
Payne also emphasized the importance of the deployment of the Australian surveillance aircraft that provided technical assistance to the AFP in its fight against the local terrorist group in Marawi City.
“Australia and the Philippines had extremely long shared regional and military history and our engagements here with the P3’s in a surveillance activity has been an extension of that but an important extension of that,” she said.
“When I met with the (Defense) secretary (Delfin Lorenzana) and had an opportunity to discuss the challenges that the government of the Philippines that was facing in Marawi it was very important to me that I was able to say with enthusiasm the Australia contribution was an important one,” she added. Robina Asido/DMS
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