U.S. Navy -- U.S. 7th Fleet leadership recently visited with members of the Subic Bay Port, Philippine Fleet leadership, U.S. Embassy, and Clark Air Base leadership Feb. 21-24.
The purpose of the visit was to strengthen the relationship with key Philippine leadership by engaging in staff talks, base tours, and discussing pertinent issues that will be brought to the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Board/Security Engagement Board.
The trip included staff talks with Vice Adm. Karl Thomas, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, Subic Bay Port leadership, a tour of Subic Bay Port facilities and the Commander, Task Force 72 hangar, and a wreath laying ceremony in honor of the WWII liberation of the Philippines.
Additionally, Thomas met with U.S. Embassy Chargé de Affairs ad interim Heather Variava, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Gen. Andres Centino, Vice Adm. Adeluis Bordado, flag officer in command of the Philippine Navy, and Rear Adm. Nichols Driz, Philippine Navy fleet commander.
“Having open lines of communication with our partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific is vital to our lasting commitments and strong presence in the region,” said Thomas. “Holding maritime discussions face-to-face with Philippine leadership is important to our alliance and navies, and I look forward to continued engagements in the future.”
Under Commander, U. S. Pacific Fleet, 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with 35 maritime nations in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.