MANILA - Another top-ranking US military official is in the country amid the United States’ bid to have stronger military presence here.
Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr., the commander of the US Pacific Fleet, is set to meet with his Philippine counterparts to discuss “the implications of the U.S. military's rebalance to the Pacific, and the importance of naval engagement and cooperation for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” the US Embassy in the Philippines said.
He is set to make an office call on Vice Admiral Jose Luis M. Alano, Flag-Officer-In-Command, at the headquarters of the Philippine Navy. He will also visit Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista.
He will also meet with US Ambassador Philip Goldberg.
According to the US Embassy, Harris is the 34th officer to command the US Pacific Fleet since it was established in February 1941 with headquarters at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
He is the highest ranking Asian-American in the history of the US Navy.
Harris is only one of many high-ranking US military officers who have arrived in the country. These visits come amid recent calls for China to ease aggression at the West Philippine Sea. The Philippines is a close ally of the US.
US President Barack Obama is also scheduled to come to the Philippines in April.