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US, Philippines fast-track defence cooperation agreement

The United States and the Philippines are fast-tracking the implementation of four new agreed locations in strategic areas, under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.

The United States and the Philippines are fast-tracking the implementation of four new agreed locations in strategic areas, under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.

The new sites in the Philippines will join substantial completion of the five existing agreed locations, according to a US Department of Defense announcement made on 1 February.

Under the current agreement, the American troops can be rotated into the Philippines for extended stays and Philippine personnel have access to US ships and planes.

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Facilities can also be built and operated on Philippine bases for both American and Philippine forces, however the US is not allowed to establish any permanent military bases.

The United States has allocated more than $82 million towards infrastructure investments at the existing five sites, and now both countries have committed to moving quickly in agreement towards plans and investments for the new EDCA locations.

A US Department of Defense spokesperson said the addition of the new EDCA locations will allow rapid support for humanitarian, climate-related disasters, and response to shared challenges.

“The EDCA is a key pillar of the US–Philippines alliance, which supports combined training, exercises, and interoperability between our forces,” the spokesperson said.

“Expansion of the EDCA will make our alliance stronger and more resilient and will accelerate modernisation of our combined military capabilities.

“The Philippine–US alliance has stood the test of time and remains ironclad. We look forward to the opportunities these new sites will create to expand our cooperation together.”

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