The United States has increased surveillance support to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as clashes rage on in Marawi City.
“The United States deployed the Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to Mindanao for additional surveillance in support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) counterterrorism efforts,” the US embassy said in a statement on Monday, September 11.
The Gray Eagle UAS a drone that has a longer flight duration, meaning it can patrol a larger area.
The US embassy said it has provided the Philippine military with assistance totalling at least P15 billion in the past 3 years alone “to establish better command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities for the AFP.”
These include a Raven tactical UAS and two Cessna-208B surveillance aircraft, among other munitions and weapons.
“The strong, long-standing military relationship with the Philippines enables the US to respond quickly to the AFP’s needs and to support the AFP’s modernization goals,” the US embassy said.
The Philippines and the US are treaty allies. The US has been assisting the Philippine military in its counter-terrorism efforts. They also conduct regular war games.