Skip to main content

AFP modernization done in two years

MANILA, Philippines - The government can get the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) back on its feet in two years, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said yesterday.

“It won’t take until 2016,” Gazmin said on when the Filipino people could again be proud of its military.

He said at least 138 defense contracts would be approved by July 31, adding that they are scouting for big military items from countries other than the US.

“Our defense system acquisition units went to South Korea. We have also dispatched our people to Spain. Some also went to France, all to determine the best offer and to know if we can foot the bills for these equipment that are being offered to us,” he said.

The AFP reportedly plans to acquire a Multi-Role Vessel from South Korea.

The AFP is also looking at France and Italy for fighter jets, aside from the reported plans to acquire a squadron of F16s from the US.

Gazmin did not give details, except that the defense department is looking at military hardware to protect the country’s air and maritime domain.

“ We need to guard our surroundings, our boundaries, so that we are not taken advantage of,” the defense chief said in Filipino, apparently referring to air and maritime intrusions of foreign aircraft and vessels.

Navy chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama said they expect the formal turnover of another Hamilton Class cutter from the US Coast Guard by May.

The first Hamilton Class cutter, named BRP Gregorio del Pilar, is patrolling the West Philippine Sea.

Pama said they requested the US government to retain some of the equipment installed in the vessel.

‘PMA cadets not affected by political squabbling’

Meanwhile, Gazmin said Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadets are not affected by political squabbling as a result of the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Gazmin said he received this assurance from PMA officials in yesterday’s PMA alumni homecoming in Fort del Pilar, Baguio City, where he was the guest of honor and speaker.

“I talked with the PMA officials and they told me that they and the cadets are not affected. But they are also discussing the issue (impeachment trial) among themselves to understand what’s going on in the political front,” he said.

In President Aquino’s PMA message which Gazmin read, the Chief Executive reminded the cadets not to abuse their position as government servants.

“The President wants to drive home a message to the cadets that as government servants they must come clean in serving the people,” Gazmin said.
By Jaime Laude
The Philippine Star
February 19, 2012 12:00 AM


More Philippine Defense News

DND wants frigate with 'surface-to-air' missile power

MANILA, Philippines - Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez announced on Friday that one of the frigates to be acquired by the Philippines will have "surface-to-air" capabilities. That is, the ship will have the capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at airborne targets.
"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.
He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done through a government-to-government transaction.
The Philippines has taken on a new sense of urgency to upgrade its naval capabilities as tensions continue to rise around the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). US President Barack Obama's announced "pivot" for America towards the Pacific has stirred greater naval activity on the p…

No reduction in AFP manpower size

THERE will be no reduction in the number of soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines when it implements the streamlining of commands by 2013, a senior officer told the Manila Standard in an exclusive interview.
“Under the Force Structure Review, there will be streamlining of units but this does not mean reduction in terms of the number of soldiers. In fact, the FSR calls for more recruits in the future,” the source, who requested anonymity, said.
At present, the military has a total of 125,000 soldiers, of which almost 85,000 are in the Army and the rest in the Navy-Marines and Air Force.
The FSR calls for an in-depth study of the AFP history in reference to pertinent laws of the land in conjunction with the challenges of internal and external defense.
The study also calls for the establishment of a strategic command that will focus on external defense where the main force would be the Air Force and Navy.
On instructions of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, former military ch…

Philippine Armored Vehicles with ad-hoc wood slat armor

While searching for Philippine armored vehicles for the updates being done for both the blog and the Facebook page I chanced upon images of Philippine Army and Marine armor assets covered with thick wood planks as slat armor for protection from rocket propelled grenades. This caught the eyes of Popular Mechanics who published an article last June 8th just for this subject.

According to the article,
Wood armor on armored vehicles won't save them from ISIS rockets. Not sure, I'll leave that to the actual reports from the Philippine Military in using wood as an ad hoc protection for rpg's, but yes this is only during emergencies. The Philippine Army and Philippine Marines should employ or use the real add-on armors currently in the market for armored vehicle protection. Or they could just simply buy new thicker-armored vehicles to be used for front-line operations and have the old vehicles to be used in secondary missions or as support vehicles.

Nonetheless the fast-thinkin…