The Philippine Army (PA) announced on 19 January that it activated the 6th Mechanised Infantry ‘Salaknib’ Battalion of its Mechanised Infantry Division (MID) in a ceremony held the previous day at MID headquarters at Camp O’Donnell, which is in the municipality of Capas in Tarlac Province.
In a statement, the service said that the battalion, which will serve as the MID’s rapid deployment force, will be the mechanised component of the PA’s 1st Brigade Combat Team (1BCT), which was activated in December 2018 and described by the army as a “contingency force that is readily deployable and capable in addressing unconventional threats to national security”.
The army referred to the new mechanised battalion as “an addition to the MID forces that form part of the army’s cutting edge in conducting prompt and sustained ground operations in support of AFP’s [Armed Forces of the Philippines’] mission”.
The service also pointed out that the latest move is part of the PA’s ongoing process of modernisation and capability upgrades that are to “give rise to a modular force structure aimed at creating standardised, flexible, and versatile elements capable of accomplishing virtually any assigned task”.
The PA also revealed that other manoeuvre components of the 1BCT are two infantry battalions as well as manoeuvre support consisting of “specialised enablers such as field artillery and engineer combat battalions; reconnaissance company and units from signal, intelligence, civil-military operations, military police, explosive ordnance, CBRN [chemical biological radiological and nuclear]; and sustainment components composed of a forward service support unit and a forward medical platoon”.
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