The US National Guard is interested in pursuing more bilateral engagements with the Philippine Army (PA) to beef up the service's capabilities to respond to disasters and national emergencies. This came after US National Guard Bureau chief Gen. Daniel Robert P. Hokanson paid a courtesy call at PA headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Metro Manila where he was welcomed by Army chief of staff Maj. Gen. Potenciano C. Camba last May 20. "During the courtesy call, Gen. Hokanson stated the willingness of the US National Guard Bureau to conduct bilateral engagements with the PA especially on upgrading the humanitarian response to disasters and national emergencies," Army spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said in a statement Sunday night. Hokanson also visited the Philippines to observe the State Partnership Program of the country with the National Guard counterparts in Guam and Hawaii. "The formal visit also discussed the reserve force development and the best practices in the management of the reserve component of the two countries," the PA spokesperson noted. Meanwhile, Camba expressed the Philippine Army's willingness to cooperate with the United States counterpart especially through the development of a reserve component as a vital force multiplier for defense and nation-building. "Lastly, Maj. Gen. Camba also conveyed his appreciation to the US National Guard Bureau for its unwavering support to the Philippines in terms of different areas of cooperation," Trinidad said.
Source: Philippines News Agency