Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby provided the following readout:
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel called Philippine Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin today to congratulate him on the recent signing of the U.S.-Philippines Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. Secretary Hagel thanked Secretary Gazmin and his department for their support for the effort.
Secretary Hagel also welcomed the opportunity for U.S. forces to train with the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the BALIKATAN exercise, which commences tomorrow. Secretary Hagel noted the importance of the exercise to regional security.
The two secretaries recalled fondly their discussions during the U.S.-ASEAN Defense Forum in Hawaii during April 1-3, 2014, and looked forward to meeting again during the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus in Burma later this year.