A delegation of Philippine military officials earlier this month inspected a pair of surplus C-130T airlifters at JRB NAS Fort Worth, Texas, and then signed a letter of acceptance for their delivery in early 2016, according to a statement from the US Embassy in Manila. Philippine Maj. Gen. Victor Bayani signed the document on Jan. 8. The airplanes are part of a deal announced last year to aid the Philippines in building up its regional defense capabilities, particularly its ability to respond to humanitarian events and secure its maritime area. The additional airlifters will increase the Philippine air force’s mission-ready C-130 fleet to five. The United States is providing some $20 million in foreign military financing for the purchase of the C-130s; the total value of the deal is around $55 million. In 2014, the United States allocated $50 million in foreign military financing to the Philippines, for airlift, command and control systems, and training and sustainment activities. Philippine and US forces collaborated extensively in the relief efforts following Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.