Philippine Army chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. (left) and Australian Army chief Lt. Gen. Simon Stuart (Photo courtesy of Philippine Army)

MANILA – The Philippine Army (PA) reinforced its professional ties with its Australian Army counterpart along with three other Armies during the International Land Defence Exposition in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia held from Oct. 4 to 6.

PA chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. met with Australian Army chief Lt. Gen. Simon Stuart to reaffirm ties between the two ground forces.

"Lt. Gen. Brawner and Lt. Gen. Stuart discussed sustaining and strengthening the partnership of both armies, particularly the conduct of bilateral training exercises aimed at enhancing interoperability and bolstering collective resolve, teamwork, mutual learning," Army spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said in a statement over the weekend.

Three agreements underpin the Philippine-Australia bilateral defense ties—the 1995 Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperative Defense Activities; the Philippines-Australia Status of Visiting Forces Agreement; and the 2015 Comprehensive Partnership Agreement.

Brawner also met with Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) vice chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Toshikazu Yamane to reaffirm ties between the two ground forces.

Brawner and Yamane talked about sustaining the robust bilateral ties between the two ground forces during the exhibit that attracts more than 700 Australian and international defense contractors and military leaders from across the globe.

Philippine Army chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. (left) and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) vice chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Toshikazu Yamane (right) (Photo courtesy of JGSDF)

Over the decades, the JGDSF has become one of the key partners of PA in beefing up its disaster-response capabilities.

"Lt. Gen. Brawner, and Brig. Gen. Raul Jesus L. Caldez, Philippine Marine Corps acting commandant, signed the trilateral TOR with JGSDF chief-of-staff Gen. Yoshida Yoshihide during the 6th iteration of the PA-PMC-JGSDF 'Strategic Guidance on Cooperation' on July 27, 2022," Trinidad said.

The updated TOR laid the groundwork for engagements among PA, PMC, and JGSDF, which includes Japan’s Marine Unit.

The TOR is geared at enhancing defense cooperation between the two countries and strengthening cooperation against emerging threats in new domains, among others.

Brawner also met with the New Zealand Army chief Maj. Gen. John Boswell to reaffirm ties between the two ground forces on the sidelines of the International Land Defence Exposition.

Philippine Army chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. (left) and New Zealand Army chief Maj. Gen. John Boswell (right) (Photo courtesy of Philippine Army)

The PA and the New Zealand Army have medium-term engagements in military training and education and collaboration in technology transfers, intelligence, and information exchanges.

Brawner held bilateral talks with Royal Cambodian Army commander Lt. Gen. Hun Manet to reaffirm and strengthen ties between the two armies during the International Land Defence Exposition last Oct. 4.

Philippine Army chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. (left) and Royal Cambodian Army commander Lt. Gen. Hun Manet (right) (Photo courtesy of Royal Cambodian Army)

Brawner and Hun took stock of the current state of PA-Royal Cambodian Army ties and reaffirmed their support for strengthening and expanding ties between the two land forces.

The PA and the Royal Cambodian Army earlier discussed the possible creation of an Army Working Group that would serve as a basis for future Army-to-Army exchanges and bilateral activities in April. (PNA)