Thursday, September 2, 2010

Elite strike force needs proper equipment, training - Navy

By Alexis Romero
The Philippine Star, August 30, 2010

The Navy believes a strike force to break a hostage crisis
would require adequate equipment and training of troops.

Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo said elite units must
be reconstituted since most of them have been assigned to
conflict-infested areas.

“We have ordered the commanders of our elite Navy Special
Operations Group and Marine Force Reconnaissance to conduct
an inventory of our men and equipment,” he said.

Arevalo said retooling is also important since the military
does not have all the needed equipment and high-powered weapons.

“At present, we do not have suitable high-powered but shorter
automatic weapons, masks, and night fighting systems, among
other state of the art weaponry and equipment they need,” he said.

Arevalo said special forces must also undergo refresher training
to ensure that they can operate in urban areas.

“Our Seal Teams and Force Recon Marines have all been trained
for commando-type operations,” he said.

“However, their present deployments are in combat operations against
the terrorists holed in the jungles of Basilan and Sulu.

“They need to brush up their skills and tactics to reintroduce
them to urban counterterrorist actions.”

Arevalo said the Navy’s elite forces should also undergo train with
the police so they would become a cohesive fighting force.

“We just need some time for training before they can gel and be a
potent anti-terrorist strike force deployable anywhere in the
country at a moment’s notice,” he said.

President Aquino has proposed the creation of an elite task force
of military and police following the bloody hostage crisis in Manila
last week.

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