The United States is sending two surveillance aircraft to support the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ ability in monitoring and reconnaissance operations against terrorists.
According to US Ambassador Sung Kim, two Cessna 208 planes would be sent out to the Philippine government in a few weeks.
Kim reiterated that the US is concerned about the security situation in Marawi City, where the assault is still ongoing.
The Cessna 208B ISR variant carries an electro-optical sensor pod and other surveillance equipment.
The Cessna 208 Caravan is a single-engined turboprop with fixed-tricycle landing gear built by the Cessna Aircraft Co. in Wichita, Kan. The plane has a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-140 turboprop engine that can carry the aircraft at speeds to 185 knots and altitudes to 25,000 feet. It has Garmin G1000 avionics with GFC700 integrated digital automatic flight control system.
Kim also said that the USA is engaged in helping with the rehabilitation program for the city of Marawi. He also noted that American soldiers exist in Mindanao are under the mutual defense treaty between the two countries.
“My sense is that the Philippine government starting with President Duterte remains committed to the relationship. There’s mutual respect for the relationship and mutual appreciation for the importance of the relationship,” Kim added.
“It’s clear that our commitment to the Philippines, to the defense of the Philippines, under the mutual defense treaty is absolute,” Kim added.
The Philippines and US navies lately were conduct coordinated patrols in the Sulu Sea amid rising international interest about Islamist militancy and piracy in the region.