U.S. Marine Corps Gen. David Berger, the commandant of the Marine Corps, meets with Maj. Gen. Ariel Caculitan, commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC), after arriving in Manila on September 10. (Photo by the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines)

General David Berger, commandant of the United States Marine Corps (USMC), visited the Philippines on September 10 and 11 to meet with top Philippine military officials and U.S. Embassy leadership to discuss the significance of the US-Philippine relationship and future engagement possibilities.

The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines said in an issued statement that during Berger’s visit, he met with Vice Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Lt. Gen. Erickson Gloria, Philippine Navy (PN) flag-officer-in-command (FOIC), Rear Adm. Adeluis Bordado, and commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) Maj. Gen. Ariel Caculitan.

General Berger also visited the U.S. Marines assigned to the Embassy.

This is the first visit to the Philippines by a commandant of the USMC since August 2017. Berger used the occasion to remind his Philippine colleagues of the significance of the US-Philippine alliance in preserving regional peace and stability, as well as enhancing interoperability in response to crises and emergencies, the statement said.

“This is a very important trip for me to visit leaders of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in person,” Berger said.  “Our defense cooperation has been the cornerstone of 70 years of close and strengthening partnership.”

Berger discussed the importance of realistic training between the U.S. and Philippine Marine Corps during his meeting with Caculitan, highlighting future bilateral exercises such as Kamandag and Balikatan.