PA activates 7 new battalions

MANILA In line with ongoing efforts to beef up its operations on the ground, the Philippine Army (PA) has activated seven out of the 10 additional infantry battalions it has authorized to raise and deploy.

This was announced by PA commander Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista during their 121st founding anniversary celebration in Fort Bonifacio Tuesday.

"To beef up our ground operations, seven out of the additional ten infantry battalions have been activated. The remaining three shall be activated in the second quarter of this year," he said.

A Philippine battalion has an average size of around 300 to 500 officers and enlisted personnel.

"Furthermore, the 5th Scout Ranger battalion and the 500th Engineer Combat Battalion were also activated," Bautista stressed.

Also, the war fighting competency of the Filipino soldiers was enhanced by the conduct of more than 700 squadlevel training activities and more than 12,800 individual training programs.

"Furthermore, 24 allied countries provided training programs and military courses, that contributed to the professional development of our personnel," the PA chief pointed out.

He added that the PA's success in last year's operations, against lawless elements and other security threats, were due to the good relations that the troops enjoy with the people of the communities.

"For instance, in the island of Bohol, the joint AFPPNP operations against the terrorist elements of Abu Sayyaf Group or ASG, resulted in the neutralization of the ASG subleader, alias Abu Rami, simply because Boholanos gave us the necessary vital information to accomplish our mission. These acts of mutual cooperation prevented the culprits from extending their terrorist activities in the island," the PA chief pointed out.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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