VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Video DOES NOT show US-AU troops’ arrival in PH

The video shows the arrival of the United States and Australia’s troops in the Philippines.

Facebook user Marjorie Horga 03/14/2024 False

The original video released by the United States’ Defense Visual Information and Distribution Service shows U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy in a training and offloading of equipment in San Diego, California on June 13, 2013.

A video claiming to show the “rapid response” of the United States and Australia’s combat troops and the arrival of military vehicles in the Philippines has been uploaded on Facebook (FB). This is false. 

The video was from 11 years ago and not taken in the country. 

Shared by an FB user on March 14, the one-minute and 28-second reel contained several scenes of military equipment being offloaded. First uploaded on TikTok on Jan. 3,  the erroneous video bore the text: 

“Rapid Response: Hundreds of US Combat Vehicles and Australian Troops Arrived in Philippines.”

This is not true. The clips show U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy while in training and offloading equipment in San Diego, California on June 13, 2013. 

U.S. Defense Visual Information and Distribution Service published the original video with a portion of its caption saying: 

“U.S. Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment-17, 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade and U.S. Navy sailors with Naval Beach Group-1, Expeditionary Strike Group-3, conduct Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) training and offload equipment from the USNS 1st Lt. Jack Lummus in support of Exercise Dawn Blitz 2013 in San Diego, Calif., June 13, 2013.”

The video with the wrong context was uploaded on FB more than a week after the China Coast Guard and Chinese Maritime Militia vessels again executed dangerous maneuvers and deployed water cannons against Philippine vessels in a resupply mission to the BRP Sierra Madre stationed at Ayungin Shoal.

It also comes as the Philippines and the United States prepare for the annual Balikatan military exercise to be held from April 22 to May 8, which representatives from Australia and other countries are expected to observe.

VERA Files has been debunking dis- and misinformation related to the West Philippines Sea dispute. Recently, a YouTube video falsely claimed that Australia will attack China to force them out of the Philippine territories. (Read Australia DID NOT say it will attack China)

The FB reel uploaded by a netizen has 17,800 reactions, 2,000 shares and 476,000 views as of writing. TikTok user @us.miritaly’s video also garnered 14,500 reactions, 5,166 comments, 5,814 shares and 3,00,000 views. 

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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)