U.S. director for 'Balikatan 2012' commends PHL gov't, soldiers for professionalism

April 28, 2012 1:03 am 

MANILA, April 27 – Lt. Gen. Duane Theissen, the United States Marine Corps Forces Pacific commander and "Balikatan 2012" director for the United States, commended the Philippine government and the Filipino soldiers for the professionalism they have shown during the just-concluded two-week military exercises.

"It has been quite a privilege to work hand-in-hand with all of you in this exercise," he said during the "Balikatan 2012" closing ceremonies held at the Armed Forces of the Philippines' Tejeros Hall in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Friday.

"Balikatan 2012" started on April 16 and ended on April 27. Around 4,500 American soldiers and 2,500 Filipino troopers took part in the activity.

Theissen said the hard work shown by the Philippine government and the leadership of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) made "Balikatan 2012" an outstanding success.

“It’s an honor for all of the U.S. forces, all of the members of the Pacific Command, to be with you here in the Philippines for this exercise and for all of our engagements that we do together,” he stressed.

For his part, U.S. Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. said in his closing speech: “We must conduct all of our activities with respect, with alignment with your priorities, [and] with assurance of our mutual defense treaty."

He also requested the U.S. soldiers present "to stand and to give thanks" to the Filipino troops.

“Thank you for letting us conduct this wonderful 28th 'Balikatan' exercise, we appreciate being in your country, we’ll always treat you with the respect you deserve," Thomas said. (PNA)

scs/PFN

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