New Sulu-bound infantry division activated this month

MANILA To fully neutralize Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists in Sulu, the military will formally activate a new infantry division sometime this month.

"The unit shall be oriented, armed, and equipped to address the peculiarity of the enemy, weather, and terrain; as well as enemy techniques, tactics and procedure; and other variables that are unique to the island province of Sulu," Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a press briefing Wednesday.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the new unit will be activated on December 17.

With the activation of this unit, the AFP will now have 11 infantry divisions, one mechanized infantry division, one Army artillery regiment and various support and logistics units.

"The President expressed concern that, despite the AFP garnering major victories in Sulu, government security forces continue to incur casualties. The AFP leadership, and in response to the clamor from the local government executives, has recommended the activation of a division-sized unit that shall be permanently stationed in Sulu Archipelago," Arevalo added.

The AFP spokesperson said creating a new infantry division is a much better option that moving an existing unit from elsewhere in the country.

"Hence, the (proposed) activation of the 11th Infantry Division is envisioned to effectively and efficiently engage and decisively defeat the lingering security threat in Sulu in the soonest time possible. For the time being, the units already in the area: Two Infantry Brigades, Two Infantry Battalions; Two Special Forces Battalions, among other Navy-Marines units will initially man the Division," he added.

Other component units and capabilities to find, fix, shoot, move, and communicate to fully compliment the Division will be gradually filled up until 2022, Arevalo added. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency