Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, visited the headquarters of 1st Special Forces Group as part of his visit to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Aug. 9.
The Special Forces Soldiers of 1st SFG have maintained a presence in the Philippines for more than a decade as part of Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines. This was the first time Bautista was able to see the home station of the Soldiers he frequently sees in his own country.
During his time at 1st SFG headquarters, Bautista was briefed by members of the staff on the groups area of responsibilities, their overall mission and their continued commitment to the Philippines and the armed forces of the Philippines Internal Peace and Security Plan.
Following the briefs, he was given a hands-on demonstration of small arms, medical supplies, SCUBA equipment and parachutes used by Special Forces Soldiers. He hasnt seen where we train, live and deploy from, so this is a superb opportunity for 1st Group to showcase where they live train and work in preparation for operations such as Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines, said Col. Max Carpenter, the deputy commanding officer of 1st SFG.
Bautista was excited to be visiting the home station of Soldiers with whom he was so familiar.
I have wanted to visit for a long time, he said. Its very exciting to see where you come from and where you train.
It was a sentiment shared by Carpenter, who presented Bautista with a 1st SFG framed print and coin to commemorate his visit.
Youve seen us in your country and now we welcome you here to our home and we look forward to continued work in the future, Carpenter said.
Bautista expressed his gratitude for the hard work of 1st SFG in the Philippines.
Thank you all on behalf of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Republic of the Philippines for what youre doing and the help youre giving us, he said.