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U.S., Philippine Military Relationship Stretches Back to WWII

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Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan welcomed Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to the Pentagon.


Here are some things to know about the U.S. relationship with the Philippines:

The Philippines were a U.S. possession from 1898 to 1946.
The Philippine Division was an essential part of the U.S. Army’s Philippine Department, which existed from 1921 through World War II. Up to 400,000 Filipinos served in the U.S. military during WWII.
Sailors line deck of ship
Rail Line
Sailors man the rails aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp as the ship arrives in Subic Bay, Philippines, in support of the 35th annual Balikatan exercise, March 30, 2019. The joint military training exercise focuses on a variety of missions, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, counterterrorism and other combined military operations.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Barker
VIRIN: 190330-N-RI884-0217C
U.S. and Philippine forces fought together during WWII in the Philippines Campaign, which included three major battles to liberate the islands from Japanese forces. The last Japanese soldier on the islands held out for 29 years — finally surrendering in 1974.
Balikatan is the annual military exercise between the U.S. and the Philippines. Balikatan is Tagalog for ''shoulder to shoulder.''
Troops hike jungle trail
U.S. and Filipino soldiers hike in Luzon, Philippines, during the annual Salaknib exercise, March 8, 2019. The exercise, sponsored by U.S. Army Pacific and hosted by the Philippine army, is designed to enhance U.S. and Philippine defense readiness while strengthening military partnerships.
Photo By: Army Spc. Maurice Washington
VIRIN: 190308-A-ZZ999-1111C
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in February that the U.S. is committed to its 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines. The treaty affirms that the U.S. will come to the aid of the Philippines if it is attacked.
Troops perform construction work
Construction Crew
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Desreal Shorts, center, works alongside Philippine soldiers to construct a new medical facility in San Pedro, Moncada, Tarlac, Philippines, during the Balikatan exercise, March 26, 2019. Balikatan is an annual exercise between the U.S. and the Philippines and comes from a Tagalog phrase meaning "shoulder to shoulder." Shorts is a builder with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 3.
Photo By: Army Spc. Elizabeth Johnson
VIRIN: 190325-Z-MO879-0130C
According to the 2010 Census, there are 3.4 million Filipino Americans, the nation’s second largest Asian ancestry group after Chinese Americans.

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