US Mid-Range Missile System to be Withdrawn from Philippines

Mid-Range Capability launcher newly developed by the US Army and used in exercises with the Philippine military. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED BY CAPT. RYAN DEBOOY OF THE US ARMY/PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER

MANILA, Philippines — The US mid-range missile system deployed in the Philippines for annual joint military exercises will be withdrawn, a Philippine Army spokesman announced Thursday.
The US Army deployed the Mid-Range Capability missile system, capable of firing the Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) and the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile, in the northern Philippines in April. This deployment, part of the Balikatan and Salaknib exercises, drew criticism from China.

Philippine troops received training on the Typhon missile system, but it was not used in live-fire exercises, Colonel Louie Dema-ala told AFP. “As per plan… it will be shipped out of the country in September or even earlier,” Dema-ala said, confirming that the US Army is currently removing equipment used during the exercises.

China expressed strong disapproval of the missile system’s presence. Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun warned in June of the “limits” to Beijing’s restraint concerning the South China Sea and the deployment of ballistic missiles in the Asia-Pacific region. At a security forum in Singapore, Dong stated that the deployment of “medium-range ballistic missiles” severely harms regional security and stability, cautioning that such actions could have self-destructive consequences.