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Israel’s help for the ongoing modernization effort is praised by AFP

Israel was thanked by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for continuing to support the institution’s modernization effort.

This happened after a senior Israeli military officer paid a Wednesday visit to the AFP headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Brig. Gen. Efraim Defrin, Head of the IDF’s International Cooperation Division, paid a courtesy visit to the AFP General Headquarters on March 15; during the visit, the AFP expressed appreciation to Israel for continuing to support the AFP’s modernization and capability upgrade, according to a statement from Col. Jorry Baclor, head of the AFP public affairs office.

In Camp Aguinaldo, Defrin had meetings with the AFP inspector general, Marine Brig. Gen. Noel Beleran, Army Lt. Gen. William Gonzales, the AFP deputy chief of staff for education, training, and doctrine, and other high-ranking military officers.

Gonzales expressed the gratitude of the AFP to Israel for its assistance with the AFP Modernization Program. Now, the AFP is working on 20 modernization projects with Israel, 14 of which have already cost PHP19 billion to complete.

These initiatives involve the development of force protection tools, armored vehicles, air defense surveillance and radar systems, multipurpose attack craft, and artillery howitzers.

Light tanks, armored personnel carriers, ground-based air defense systems, and quick assault interdiction boats are the current projects.

“Brig. Gen. Defrin noted the similarities in the difficulties and problems faced by Israel and the Philippines and underlined the need of cooperating and sharing expertise,” Baclor added.

The Israeli military official noted that the IDF and the AFP could further enhance knowledge and expertise sharing through continued training and student exchanges.

Brig. Gen. Defrin provided a strategic assessment of the IDF’s defensive philosophy and security issues after their discussion, according to Baclor.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on logistics and defense industrial cooperation with the IDF in 2010 serves as the foundation for military cooperation between the AFP and the IDF.

Enhancing intelligence exchanges, logistics, education and training, counterterrorism, and cyber security are the main goals of the Agreement.

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