CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii — Gen. Eduardo Año, Chief of Staff for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, met with Adm. Harry Harris, commander of U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), for the Mutual Defense Board and Security Engagement Board (MDB-SEB) at PACOM headquarters Sept. 28.
The MDB-SEB helps coordinate the framework for defense and security cooperation between the U.S. and Philippine militaries.
"The armed forces of our two nations have reinforced our historic alliance - a special bond rooted in shared values, shared commitments, and shared security threats such as ISIS,” said Harris. “We must continue our mutual efforts to protect our nations and provide the very best defense possible."
One focus of this year’s MDB-SEB was a new counter-terrorism initiative which enhances the current level of assistance the U.S. provides.
The agreement to establish the MDB was in 1958 while the SEB was established in 2006. The two boards came together as both countries shared a common goal of improving interoperability of the parties’ forces.
While in Hawaii, Año also observed 2nd Battalion, 3rd Regiment Marines as they conducted urban operations at the Marine Corps Training Area in Bellows Beach. The Marines demonstrated their capabilities in urban environments to Año and component commanders.
The successful completion of the MDB-SEB ensures cooperation between the U.S. and the Philippines will continue in areas involving humanitarian assistance, maritime security, cyber security, disaster relief and other national security interests.