Australian, US allies hold closed- door meetings with Westmincom

A body of a sardine factory worker has been found along Zamboanga City shoreline


ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur — The Australian Ambassador for counter terrorism had a closed door meeting with top military officials of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) to discuss mutual defense engagement in this city and the neighboring province of Basilan.

Lieutenant General Alfredo Rosario Jr, Westmincom chief, said Robert John Noble, Australian Ambassador for counter-terrorism, Colonel Paul Barta, Defense Attache on Counter Terrorism in Manila of the Australian Defence Force, and Renee McGregor, an envoy’s staff, were in this city on Monday, Sept. 26.

They discussed Australia’s defense engagement, areas of cooperation, and a better understanding of the security situation in Zamboanga City and Basilan province alongside Australia’s development programs and activities.

During the meeting that was off-limits to the media, Rosario briefed Ambassador Noble on the Command’s security campaign even as he expressed his gratitude to his visitors for taking the time to visit the Command and strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

As a long-time ally of the Philippines, Australia has established a good relationship with the country. “The relationship between the two countries is robust and enduring,” Rosario said in a statement.

The Australian Ambassador’s visit came a day after Rear Admiral Jeromy Williams, commander of the US Special Operations Command in the Pacific met with Brigadier General Arturo Rojas, Westmincom’s deputy commander for External Defense Operations came here on a visit.

Williams said Sunday that the purpose of his visit was to sustain the relationship between the US and Philippine forces.

He said he was “honored” to visit one of the great allies of the USA, referring to the Philippines.

Williams took over the helm of the Special Operations Command in the Pacific based at Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii in March 2022.

Before this post, he was the deputy director for Special Operations and Counter Terrorism, based in Washington, District of Columbia.

All the vital visits and meetings with the Wesmincom top brass of Westmincom were kept confidential and off limits to the media.


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