The Philippine Army (PA) on Thursday announced that 276 officers and enlisted personnel from different services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have completed their paratrooper training with the Fort Magsaysay-based Special Forces Regiment (Airborne) [SFR(A)].
These new graduates belong to two batches of Basic Airborne Course, Jump Master Course, and Parachute Packing Course, PA spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said in a statement.
The graduation ceremony for the training took place at the SFR(A) headquarters in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija on Tuesday.
"The majority of the newly-minted airborne troopers are part of the Philippine Military Academy 'Bagsik Diwa' Class of 2022, while others are organic personnel of SFR(A), Philippine Marine Corps, Philippine Air Force, and the Philippine Navy's Naval Special Operations Command," he added.
SFR(A) commander Col. Ferdinand Napuli said 38 more troopers are also set to undergo the Military Free Fall Course and Parachute Packing Skills Enhancement Training.
"The PA leadership has vowed to fully support SFR(A) and its battalions deployed in conflict-affected areas nationwide," Trinidad said. The SFR(A) is considered the most elite counter-terrorism and insurgent force in the PA.
He also added the PA is committed to providing the unit with the necessary equipment and resources to further enhance the skills and capabilities of Special Forces operators.
Meanwhile, Trinidad said the PA's 1st Brigade Combat Team (1BCT) and the Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Darat (Indonesian Army) commenced the Training Activity Brigade Combat Team 2022 (TA BCT) also on Aug. 2.
The activity took place at the 1BCT's headquarters in Fort Magsaysay.
1BCT commander Col. Leodevic B. Guinid and Col. Made Sandy Agusto of the Indonesian Army led the opening ceremony.
Agusto, commander of the 22nd Infantry Brigade, Indonesian Army and head of the Indonesian delegation, and Col. Wahyu Akhadi, Indonesia's defense attaché, then made a courtesy call on Guinid shortly after.
TA BCT 2022, which is hosted by 1BCT and slated from Aug. 2 to 5, is geared at bolstering both armies’ anti-terrorism capabilities. It also aims to foster greater cooperation and camaraderie between personnel of the combined arms units of both armies.
The 1BCT is the PA's primary combined arms and rapid deployment unit composed of combat, combat support, and combat service support elements.
The PA intends to gradually activate additional BCTs in the medium-term, consistent with the prevailing and emerging threat environment.
Source: Philippines News Agency