From InterAksyon (Feb 24): Ranking US admiral awarded PH Military Civic Action Medal for Yolanda relief efforts
For expediting assistance during relief operations for Yolanda-battered areas in Eastern Visayas, the Philippine Navy presented US Pacific Fleet commander, Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., with the Military Civic Action Medal during his visit Monday to PN headquarters in Roxas Boulevard, Manila.
As head of the above-mentioned unit, Harris effectively and efficiently exercised command and control over the US Navy vessels and assets throughout the duration of their operations in the waters of the provinces of Samar and Leyte.
The American official arrived in the country Sunday and called on the PN flag-in-officer-in-charge Vice Adm. Jose Luis M. Alano Monday.
The former is on an official visit to the Philippines to engage with senior military officials with the aim of strengthening the US and Philippine alliance.
After his meeting with Alano, Harris also called on the Armed Forces of the Philippines chief-of-staff Gen. Emmanuel T. Bautista.
CogitASIA, a blog of the Asia programs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, describes Harris as a person who believes strongly in working closely with allies and partners in the Asia Pacific.
“As a Japanese-American with a strong academic background in East Asian affairs, he is equipped with the knowledge and experience needed to build rapport with strategic partners in the region. Expect him to make frequent high-level visits to countries in the region and press for multilateral military cooperation as an important component of the US rebalance to Asia,” it stated.
Just this Feb. 14, the US Navy Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jonathan Greenert arrived in the country for same purpose. During his visit, he spoke with the students at the National Defense College of the Philippines about the importance of maritime cooperation and open communication among international navies.