Latest News for Philippine Defense

New Sulu-bound infantry division activated this month

The military is activating a new infantry division within the month with the aim of fully neutralizing Abu Sayyaf Group terrorists in Sulu.

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

“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 on Wednesday.

The activation of the new unit brings to 11 the AFP’s 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 said.

He added that creating a new infantry division is a better option than 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,” Arevalo said.

“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 said.

Other component units and capabilities to find, fix, shoot, move and communicate to fully compliment the division will be gradually filled up until 2022, noted Arevalo.#