Army to provide Philippines with JFEC system, new equipment training

By Dan Schere / February 10, 2023 at 11:43 AM

The Army intends to procure a Joint Fires Expeditionary Classroom system for the Philippines and provide new equipment training, according to a government notice posted Thursday.

The notice comes a week after the United States announced an agreement with the Philippines that will give the U.S. military access to four additional sites.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced on Feb. 2 that they planned to “accelerate the full implementation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement” by designating four additional locations in the country in which U.S. forces would be allowed to be present.

Under the EDCA, U.S. forces may rotate troops into five bases: Cesar Basa Air Base, Ft. Magsaysay Military Reservation, Lumbia Airfield, Antonio Bautista Air Base and Mactan- Benito Ebuen Air Base. The four additional agreed-on locations were not disclosed last week.

Austin said on Feb. 2 that helping modernize Philippine military capabilities will be particularly important as China “continues to advance its illegitimate claims in the West Philippine Sea,” and for addressing “destabilizing activities” in the waters surrounding the country.

He added that “we remain committed to strengthening our mutual capacities to resist armed attack.”

The contract notice posted Thursday states the Army intends to award a firm-fixed-price contract for the commercial off-the-shelf version of JFEC, hardware, warranty and new equipment training for the Philippines.

JFEC, made by Fidelity Technologies Corp., gives forward-deployed units with a Joint Fires training system that has the same capabilities as a “fully immersive dome system,” according to the company. It is designed to protect against extreme temperatures.

According to the Army, the new equipment training will include five days of in-person instruction for six students, which will be conducted in English.

Fidelity is the intended contractor, according to the notice, and the contract is expected to be awarded in the third quarter of fiscal year 2023. The response date for the notice is Feb. 24.