An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Sept. 16, 2023

Philippines and U.S. Hold Annual Mutual Defense and Security Engagement Boards

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command

CAMP AGUINALDO, Philippines — Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Adm. John Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, led the 2023 Mutual Defense Board and Security Engagement Board (MDB-SEB) at Camp Aguinaldo, Philippines, Sept. 14. 

The annual convening of the MDB-SEB highlights the long legacy of sustained relations between the U.S. and Philippine militaries and concludes a years’ worth of bilateral planning and training between the allied forces. During the meeting, U.S. and Philippine leaders agreed to over 500 joint activities scheduled for 2024 to include exercises, high-level exchanges between the allied nations and capability building in maritime security, combatting terrorism and transnational crime, cyber security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and many other national security interests. 

“These underscore the continued partnership and collaboration between the Philippines and the United States in enhancing national defense capabilities, as well as the shared commitment to regional security and disaster response efforts,” Brawner said. “It signifies our commitment to further strengthen our cooperation, ensuring that both militaries are equipped and well-prepared to respond to evolving security challenges.” 

The successful completion of the MDB-SEB furthers cooperation between the U.S. and the Philippines and renews their shared commitment to the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty and the joint pursuit of a free and open Indo-Pacific region against a backdrop of a rules-based international order. 

In the days preceding the meeting, Brawner and Aquilino visited three Enhanced Defense Cooperation Arrangement (EDCA) sites and their surrounding communities: Lal-lo Airport, Cagayan; Naval Base Camilo Osias, Santa Ana, Cagayan; and Basa Air Base, Pampanga.   

“All of the EDCA sites are sovereign Philippine territory. We identified a number of projects that benefit the AFP and allow the United States and the Philippines to operate together,” said Aquilino during the site visit at Basa Air Base. “Lal-lo airport was a place where we came together to support the most recent humanitarian assistance effort to the Philippine people. This is the best example of why these sites are important.” 

During the MDB-SEB, Brawner and Aquilino agreed to 63 new projects within the nine existing EDCA sites. These locations strengthen the interoperability of the U.S. and Philippine Armed Forces, enabling the forces to respond more seamlessly together to address a range of shared challenges in the Indo-Pacific region. 

The MDB was established in 1958 and the SEB was established in 2006. Together, the two boards form the framework that directs and enables defense and security cooperation between the U.S. and Philippine militaries. 

As friends and allies, the United States and the Philippines will continue to work in lockstep to rapidly pursue modernization projects and opportunities to plan and train together to support our treaty commitments and shared vision for a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous region. 




US Army sustainers provide sealift to Australian armor for Super Garuda Shield
Australian Army M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks and vehicles are unloaded from the United States Army Vessel SSGT Robert T. Kuroda at Tanjung Perak Port in Indonesia during Exercise Super Garuda Shield 2023. At the invitation of Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), Australia is contributing over 125 personnel from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to Exercise Super Garuda Shield 2023 (SGS23). SGS23 is an TNI and United States Indo Pacific Command led bilateral training activity. It is focused on joint operations with international partners in and around East Java in Indonesia from 31 August to 13 September. Held since 2009, the ADF first participated in 2022, and in 2023 is contributing an Australian Army force element including a Troop of M1A1 Abrams tanks from the 1st Armoured Regiment. The contingent also includes an Infantry Platoon from the 10th/27th Battalion, Royal South Australian Regiment, command and control elements, and a range of armoured vehicles, trucks and recovery vehicles. (Photo by Australian Defence Force Cpl. Dustin Anderson)
Sept. 19, 2023 - With Logistics Support Vessel 7 SSGT Robert Kuroda already in Australia for Talisman Sabre 2023, the conditions were set to transport Australian Defence Force tanks and equipment to Indonesia for Super Garuda Shield...

Statement from Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on the U.S.-Pacific Islands Forum Summit
Sept. 19, 2023 - President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. will host Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) leaders at the White House on September 25, 2023 during the second U.S.-Pacific Island Forum (PIF) Summit taking place September 25-26...

Joint Press Statement for the 23rd Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue
Sept. 18, 2023 - The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) Ministry of National Defense (MND) held the 23rd Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD) on September 18, 2023 in Seoul...

Army Reserve Cyber Protection Brigade Supports 2nd Infantry Division During Ulchi Freedom Shield 23 Exercise
The Army Reserve Cyber Protection Brigade (ARCPB) successfully supported the 2nd Infantry Division (2ID) C6 directorate in a critical operational support exercise from August 12 to September 2, 2023, as part of the annual Ulchi Freedom Shield 23 (UFS23) exercise.
Sept. 18, 2023 - The Army Reserve Cyber Protection Brigade (ARCPB) successfully supported the 2nd Infantry Division (2ID) C6 directorate in a critical operational support exercise from August 12 to September 2, 2023, as part of the annual...

5th ANGLICO Marines Conduct the Korean Maritime Exchange Program 23.3 (KMEP)
A U.S. Marine with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines and Republic of Korea Marines with 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment, 2nd Marine Division participate in a combined patrol during Korean Marine Exercise Program 23.3 at Rodriguez Live-fire Complex, Republic of Korea, March 28, 2023. KMEP is a series of continuous-combined training exercises designed to enhance the ROK-U.S. Alliance, promote stability on the Korean Peninsula, and strengthen combined military capabilities and interoperability. 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines is forward deployed in the Indo-Pacific under 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division as part of the Unit Deployment Program.
Sept. 18, 2023 - From July to August 2023, U.S. Marines with 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (5th ANGLICO), III Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group, participated in the Korean Marine Exchange Program 23.3 (KMEP)...