About 456 recruits have begun their basic military training to join the 11th Infantry Division (ID), the youngest unit of the Philippine Army, tasked to fight the remaining Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in the province of Sulu.
The recruits belong to the Candidate Soldiers Classes 680, 681, and 682-2021 and took their oath Tuesday, marking the start of their six-month training at the 11th Division Training School (11DTS) in Camp Bud Datu, Barangay Tagbak, Indanan, Sulu.
Col. Leomar Jose Doctolero, 11DTS commandant, said Thursday the candidate soldiers are from various walks of life in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao and were chosen as the best among the thousands of aspirants who wanted to be part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“They are undergoing six months of basic military training and to be instilled with the Army core values while honing them into disciplined soldiers that will contribute to our forces,” Doctolero said in a statement.
Brig. Gen. Benjamin Batara Jr., 1103rd Infantry Brigade commander, underscored the responsibility of the 11DTS in molding the new breed of candidate soldiers who will protect the people of Sulu by defeating the remaining ASG bandits in the province.
Batara, who keynoted the start of the training, encouraged the trainees to persevere and reminded them they were lucky to have been chosen to join the training.
“Always remember, put in your heart and mind all the knowledge you will learn in the training. Always remember that the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle. Good luck on your journey,” he said.
Batara noted that on September 21, the Candidate Soldiers Course “Makagilas” (Muslim at Kristiyano Alakdan Galing Isip Liksi Aming Sandata) Class 656-2021 successfully hurdled the rigorous military training.
“They are now deployed to different battalions of 11ID to increase the personnel fill-up and at the same time, to increase the unit’s combat power,” he said.
Like the Magkagilas Class 656-2021, the trainees will also be deployed to different battalions after their six-month training to further strengthen the combat prowess of the 11ID and defeat the remaining threat to peace and stability in the province of Sulu.
The 11ID is a three-year-old command and the youngest unit of the Philippine Army.
President Rodrigo Duterte, accompanied by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, led the activation of the 11ID at Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista, home of the Joint Task Force (JTF)-Sulu headquarters, in Barangay Bus-Bus, Jolo, Sulu on Dec. 17, 2018.
Composed of units already present in Sulu and working under JTF Sulu, the various units were formed into a new division dedicated to fighting the Islamic State-affiliated terrorist groups in the province.
Source: Philippines News Agency