Skip to main content

AFP ordered to boost deployment of rapid reaction forces

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of National Defense (DND) ordered the military to boost its capability to deploy rapid reaction forces since the mobility of troops has been affected by aging naval and air assets.

In a planning guidance to military officials, the DND said the rapid reaction forces would be used to address contingencies and to move troops on short notice.

“Due to the aging of PN (Philippine Navy) and PAF (Philippine Air Force) lift platforms, the mobility of our forces within the theater of operations is severely affected,” the DND said.

“There is a need to acquire a capability to rapidly move our forces that form part of the national maneuver force,” it added.

Armed Forces resource managers were ordered to collaborate in building a capability to deploy two joint rapid reaction forces to be located strategically in Luzon and Mindanao.

The DND planning guidance, a copy of which was obtained by The STAR, said the forces would address two major contingencies in any part of the country at the same time.

DND said each of the joint forces would consist of an infantry battalion capable of air mobile operations, a mechanized infantry battalion, a marine battalion capable of amphibious operations, a squadron of tactical helicopters, a squadron of close air support aircraft, a heavy airlift aircraft and a strategic sealift vessel.

“In order to establish this capability, joint combat maneuver and supporting forces should have the means to move (like airlift and sealift platforms) on short notice,” the planning guidance read.

The DND has directed military resource managers to acquire medium airlift capability for short haul flights and strategic sealift capability. It also ordered the military to improve its capability to move ground forces within the area of operations.

The limited state funds have hampered the military’s modernization efforts. 

Only about half of the patrol ships in the Navy’s inventory are operational and with an average age of more than 30 years old. Some of these vessels are more than 60 years old.
Almost half of the Navy’s transport vessels are non-operational while the operational small crafts are of an average age of about 21 years old.

Last year, the Navy acquired its first Hamilton-class vessel from the US Coast Guard to enhance its external defense capabilities. It also inaugurated the BRP Tagbanua, a landing craft utility that is 100 percent Filipino made.

On the other hand, a 2010 report by the Commission on Audit (COA) said the Air Force “virtually has a non-existent air deterrent capability” due to aging air assets. COA said as of 2010, only 91 of the 339 aircraft in the Air Force inventory are full mission-capable, 81 are inactive and the rest are for disposal.

Early this month, the Air Force inaugurated its four brand-new combat utility helicopters acquired from Polish company PZL Swidnik SA.

Four more combat utility helicopters are scheduled to arrive in November.

Alexis Romero | The Philippine Star | March 19, 2012 | Article Link

More Philippine Defense News

AFP Modernization 2017: Highlights and Review

The modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines was on a roll this year, as we've seen a few big ticket items having completely delivered this year. Game changers as they say, these new assets have proven their capabilities both in combat and humanitarian missions.

Here's a brief on everything what we know about the AFP modernization this 2017.

Philippine Air Force  FA-50PH

The final batch of the FA-50PH Lead-In Fighter Trainers have been successfully delivered by the Korean Aerospace Industries last May. The last batch of 2 arrived on May 31st at Clark Air Base. The contract consist of 12 FA-50's at the price of Php 18.9 billion. AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla mentioned on a March 23 article in Inquirer that there are plans to purchase 6 more additional FA-50's if the funding allows it and if the performance is good.

FA-50PH Weapons - AIM-9 Air-to-air Missiles
Aside from the aircraft itself the Department of National Defense also ordered AIM-9

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…

Special Forces Assault Boat and the Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation

Special Forces assault boats to beef up patrols in Davao Gulf
Special Forces assault boats will soon patrol Davao Gulf to detect and deter piracy and terrorist threats in southern waters.

Two of these boats were formally turned over by Special Forces Regiment commander Brig. Gen. Ramiro Manuel Rey to Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal in Davao City on Tuesday, the EastMinCom said in a statement.

Madrigal said the boats will be “an additional capability in securing the municipal waters in the area of responsibility, particularly Davao Gulf, to preempt terrorists, piracy and other security threats from using the sea lanes in their terrorist and criminal acts. It can also be used for water search and rescue operations.”

The boats have counter/anti-terrorist capability and will be manned by Special Forces Riverine troopers.

The boats will be initially deployed with Joint Task Force Haribon which has the jurisdiction of Mega Davao, the Eastern Mindanao Command said.