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Department of Defence
Media Release


14/10/2006 MECC 275/06
Defence Media Release




Greg Sheridan’s statement in The Australian newspaper today is wrong.  The ADF has not been involved in counter terrorism operations in the Philippines.

In March this year and at the invitation of the Philippines’ Government, one Special Forces officer observed the joint US and Philippines Exercise Balikatan in Zamboanga, southern Philippines. 

This exercise undertakes civil-military activities and does not involve operations.  The Australian officer was observing the US-Philippines exercise planning process and at no time was he involved in operations of any kind.

As announced in October 2005, Defence is working with the Philippines to develop an Army watercraft capability of up to 30 boats suitable for patrolling the riverine and marshland areas of Mindanao. This will not involve ADF operations in the Philippines. 

Over several years, the ADF has undertaken annual counter-hijack training in the Philippines, as we do with other regional countries. This activity does not involve operations.

Australia does not have any ADF personnel deployed to the Philippines on operations.

The Australian Government respects the Philippines Constitution which prohibits operations with foreign forces without a treaty level agreement.




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Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999 Fax: 02 6265 6946
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