Major General Nelso Allaga, WesMinCom chief, said the transitioning is part of the standard rotation of US military personnel deployed in Mindanao and it is necessary due to the temporary nature of the US presence in Mindanao, confirming the fact that the US does not maintain any permanent bases in the Philippines.
He said during this time there will be a temporary increase in the number of US military aircraft flying in and out of the airports specifically in Cotabato and Zamboanga City. "This rotation however will not affect the overall number of US troops in the Philippines as the rotation will be on 'ONE on ONE' basis," the general added.
US forces in the Philippines are here at the invitation of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines to provide advice and assistance to the Armed Forces of the Philippines which is currently conducting operations against terrorist organizations in the Southern Philippines.
The United States had been supporting the Armed Forces of the Philippines to defeat the Terrorist Organizations in this part of the country and they had been constantly involved in Humanitarian Assistance and Civic Action programs of the government in order to deliver basic services to our less privileged brothers in Mindanao, be it Christians and Muslims alike.
"We just want our people to know about these things so that they will not be alarmed about so many US military aircrafts landing and taking off our airports in the above mentioned places. Let us therefore welcome it so that we could avail of the help that our American brothers are extending to us," Allaga said.