Manila, December 17, 2021—Representatives from the Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG)-Philippines recently attended the turnover ceremony for a newly constructed boat repair and maintenance facility at Naval Station Rio Hondo in Zamboanga City.
The facility, which will be utilized by the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) Assault Boat Battalion, is the first of three construction projects that will help build the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) capabilities in the region. These projects are part of a Foreign Military Financing grant that includes more than Php251 million ($5 million) for the three facilities.
At the turnover ceremony on December 9, JUSMAG personnel were joined by PMC Commandant Maj. Gen. Ariel Caculitan and Commander Combat Service Support Brigade Brig. Gen. Ruben B. Candelario.
“The PMC, together with the Philippine Navy, expresses its deep gratitude to JUSMAG for the success of this project,” said Maj. Gen. Caculitan. “It is truly a sign of a good relationship between our two countries.”
The Philippines is the largest recipient of U.S. military assistance in the Indo-Pacific region, having received more than Php50.6 billion ($1.06 billion) since 2015. Facilities like this are one of many U.S.-Philippine coordinated projects that help build and modernize AFP capabilities across the country.
“Through joint training, key military equipment transfers, and facilities such as this structure and others like it, the United States continues to support the AFP’s modernization programs,” said JUSMAG-Philippines Chief and Senior Defense Official to the Philippines Col. Stephen Ma. “Our mutual security cooperation remains a cornerstone of our partnership and alliance.”