Aug 10, 2020

WESCOM unaware of Chinese missile tests, conducts validation

The Western Command (WESCOM) is not aware of the recent missile test by China in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) as reported by the Pentagon, but its commander Vice Admiral Rene Medina said Wednesday they are trying to validate it through the Naval Forces West (NFW).

“We are currently validating the report through the NFW,” said Medina, stating they only learned about China’s multiple anti-ship ballistic tests over the weekend when it came out in the news.

He said the validation he ordered the NFW is only at “WESCOM level” when asked by Palawan News if it was a command from higher headquarters.

“Ngayon lang din namin nalaman ‘yong lumabas sa news article,” he said.

Medina did not elaborate on how the NFW will conduct the validation.

Medina added that WESCOM has not received any report or any sighting of the missile test that was supposedly performed by China from its man-made structures on the islands it is claiming.

“Negative so far. Hintayin ko muna ang feedback ng Navy,” he said.

On Tuesday, a report from Pentagon claimed that China performed the missile tests during the weekend in the WPS, a move which it described as disturbing and contrary to the commitment that it will not militarize the maritime region.

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn said they were aware of the missile launch and although he cannot speak about the sovereign nations staking claims in the WPS, he knows that they disagree and look at it as an act that is coercive and meant to intimidate.

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