The Philippine Marine Corps’ 9th Marine Battalion returned to Cavite City on Thursday to undergo training that will allow them to be capable of performing mission-essential tasks to the “full range of military operations”.
In a message to the Philippine News Agency, Lt. Commander Maria Christina Roxas, Philippine Navy public affairs office chief, said the training is essential as the 9th Marine Battalion is being envisioned “as the first Marine Amphibious Ready Unit to be attached to the Fleet-Marine Ready Force”.
She added that the unit was placed under the non-operational status by PMC commandant, Major Gen. Nathaniel Casem, for this purpose upon arrival at Sangley Point, Cavite City aboard BRP Bacolod City (LS-550) on Thursday.
The 9th Marine Battalion, which is commanded by Lt. Col. Mark Anthony Arabe, has seen action in Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, and Zamboanga since 2010.
These provinces are under the operational jurisdiction of the Western Mindanao Command.
Roxas said the unit has been instrumental in a wide array of operations such as security, combat, support to law enforcement, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief, and numerous undertakings in support of other government agencies in their area of deployment.
Among the notable accomplishments of the 9th Marine Battalion were the neutralization of several Abu Sayyaf Group members, interception of smuggled lumbers, illegal drugs, human trafficking victims and illegal immigrants, and rescue of more than a hundred passengers and crew of an ill-fated vessel in Tawi-Tawi.
PN flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, who presided the arrival ceremony following the “new normal” scheme adhering to health and biosafety protocols, called the successful deployment of the 9th Marine Battalion a testament to the “capability and competence of our Marines to respond to emerging security challenges”.
To sustain these accomplishments, he said the unit needs to level up as a proficient Marine Operating Force due to the “rapidly changing, complex, simultaneous and overlapping security challenges”. PNA.GOV.PH