US, Philippines to Meet on Future Exercises, Operations

US Pacific Command leadership is meeting with Filipino military leaders in the Philippines next week to ensure that exercises and current operations continue despite recent tensions between the two countries. Adm. Harry Harris, commander of US Pacific Command, said Tuesday at a Defense One event in Washington, D.C., that he is headed to the Philippines next week to discuss the continued Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement and planned exercises, along with the deployment of special operations troops inside the country that is helping battle extremism. Harris said he expects the two countries will “refocus” or “rescope” planned exercises for next year, though the special operations missions are expected to remain. The Philippines Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana said earlier this month that exercises will continue, though they will be scaled back and mostly focus on disaster relief instead of combat operations.