THE Philippine Army yesterday said it is organizing two additional brigade combat teams, composed of about 3,400 officers and men, to help fight internal and external security threats.
Army spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said the two brigades will be in addition to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, composed of 1,700 officers and men, which the Army organized last year.
The 1st BCT was subsequently deployed to Sulu in May to help fight the bandit group Abu Sayyaf. A month later, its headquarters in Indanan town was subjected to suicide bombings, killing three soldiers, two civilians, and the two suicide bombers.
“We’re continuing the creation of brigade combat teams. Our target is we’ll create one this year, so we’ll have the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, and maybe a third one next year,” said Zagala.
Zagala implied the Army will deploy the additional brigade combat teams in Luzon and the Visayas. He said they are organizing the two additional brigades “so that each major island will have a brigade combat team.”
Zagala said the BCTs are designed for territorial defense and address internal security threats. “Our mission is no longer just insurgency. We must be able to address external threats,” he said.
Like the 1st BCT, Zagala said the two additional BCTs will have an array of assets “for them to be able to utilize the land power maneuver concept and utilize its capabilities to defeat current, emerging and future threats.”
He said these BCTs will be equipped with “modern combined arms team that is supported by enablers such as modern artillery, to include air defenses and land base missile systems and aviation.”
“The thrust of the Army is to have a ready force that is capable and can be rapidly deployed to adapt to any threat. It must be able to project power and dominate the enemy,” Zagala also said.
“To support this, the army has the capability development plan that seeks to address both material and non material capability gaps. This is doctrine, organization, training, material, leadership, personnel and facilities,” he said.