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US Deploys Midrange Missile System in PH Amid Joint Military Exercise: A Significant Move in the US-Philippines Alliance

US Deploys Midrange Missile System in PH Amid Joint Military Exercise: A Significant Move in the US-Philippines Alliance

US Deploys Midrange Missile System in PH

The US Deploys Midrange Missile System (MRCS) in PH in an undisclosed location in Northern Luzon, Philippines, as part of Exercise Salaknib 24 with the Philippine Army. This deployment marks the first time the MRCS system has been deployed in the country, providing the US forces with the ability to launch Standard Missile 6 and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMs) across the Luzon Strait.

The US-Philippines alliance is based on strong historical and cultural links, with a shared commitment to democracy and human rights. The two nations have designated each other as major non-NATO allies, with close and abiding security ties. The U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty serves as the foundation for a robust, balanced, and responsive security partnership, with the U.S.-Philippine Bilateral Strategic Dialogue advancing discussion and cooperation on bilateral, regional, and global issues.

US Midrange Capability Missile System in the Philippines

The MRCS system, which includes the SM6 Missile System, provides a significant capability to the US forces in the region. With a range of up to 300 nautical miles or more than 500 kilometers, the SM6 can reach beyond the 370 kilometer distance between the northernmost point of the Philippines and southern Taiwan. This range surpasses the capabilities of existing missile systems in the region, potentially enhancing the security of the Philippines and the US forces in the region.

Exercise Salaknib 24 and Balikatan 2024

Exercise Salaknib 24 and Balikatan 2024, which will be held after Salaknib 24, with over 16,000 Filipino and US personnel, will introduce the SM6 Missile System to the region. Despite concerns from critics that this move places Filipino lives in greater danger, Balikatan 2024 Executive Agent Colonel Mike Logico has stated that the SM6 will not be fired during the exercise. The military exercises between the US and the Philippines are being conducted in northern Luzon due to its proximity to Taiwan, a potential flashpoint of hostilities with China.

Critics’ Concerns: Filipino Lives in Greater Danger?

Critics have expressed concerns about the deployment of the MRCS system in the Philippines, arguing that it could increase the risk of conflict in the region and place Filipino lives in greater danger. However, the Philippine government and military have emphasized the importance of the US-Philippines alliance and the need to enhance the security of the region.

Mid-Range Capability (MRC) Launcher from Charlie Battery, 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, Long Range Fires Battalion, 1st Multi-Domain Task Force arrives as part of the capability’s first deployment into theater on Northern Luzon, Philippines, April 7, 2024.
Mid-Range Capability (MRC) Launcher from Charlie Battery, 5th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, Long Range Fires Battalion, 1st Multi-Domain Task Force arrives as part of the capability’s first deployment into theater on Northern Luzon, Philippines, April 7, 2024.

US-Philippines Cooperation in Northern Luzon

In conclusion, the deployment of the US Midrange Capability missile system in the Philippines is a significant move in the US-Philippines alliance. With a shared commitment to democracy and human rights, the two nations are working together to enhance the security of the region and deter potential aggressors. Despite concerns from critics, the US and the Philippines are committed to working together to strengthen their alliance and promote regional stability.

The deployment of the Mid-Range Capability missile system in the Philippines during Exercise Salaknib 24 is a significant development in US-Philippine defense cooperation. The MRCS’s presence in the region is expected to enhance the security of the Philippines and deter potential aggressors, while also serving as a demonstration of the US’s commitment to regional security. Despite the mixed reactions, the US and the Philippines have emphasized the collaborative nature of the exercise and the importance of enhancing defense capabilities.

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