US involvement in the Philippines

Currently in Manila on business and whilst having breakfast this morning at the hotel caught sight of a Filipino Major General sitting down to breakfast with a US Lt. Col and later on a full Col. joined them. For clarity - do the PH armed forces use the same rank badges? The Lt Col wore a US army ID badge but the accent was very much filipino.

Anyway I digress, so I'm sitting there munching on a croissant and supping on the first tea of the day watching the toing & froing as various NCOs approached and disappeared. All seemed very convivial although I did have to smile when the US Col. advised the General of the unsuitability of gifts to US personnel or rather their wives :D

Afterwards I was wondering just how involved the US are in the Philippines? I've been around the islands a few times including Mindano (where my client kindly gave me an armed escort 8O ) but haven't really seen much evidence of the US until now -only what has been reported on the news. Any of our US brethren have any reportable detail?

Perhaps this can shed some light:

Joint US Military Assistance Group Link
The Joint US Military Assistance Group in the Republic of the Philippines (JUSMAGPHIL) functions as the US Security Assistance Organization (SAO) in the Philippines. The Chief of JUSMAGPHIL is also the Commander US Pacific Command Representative (CDRPACOMREP). In addition to the military chain of command, JUSMAGPHIL/CDRPACOMREP is also responsible to the US Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines.

JUSMAGPHIL has responsibility for administering security assistance missions in addition to non-security assistance missions. These include Joint Combined Bilateral Exercise Programs, the second largest International Military Education and Training (IMET) program in the world as well as coordination of joint US and Republic of the Philippines military to military engagement programs prescribed by the Mutual Defense Board.
The USMC sent some people there not long ago to help clear a mudslide that buried a school (the UN must have been busy)

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