Army activates rapidly deployable combat team for war, peace time

The Philippine Army has activated its 1st Brigade Combat Team (1st BCT) which will be the service’s “compact, responsive and modern force capable to engage in conventional and/or unconventional warfare, disaster relief and rescue operations, and other non-traditional roles,” the Philippine Army said.

Army commanding general Lieutenant General Macairog S. Alberto attended the activation ceremony on December 15 at the New Special Operation Command (SOCOM) site, Fort Ramon Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija.

“This creation emanates when the Army, being the premier land force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, deliberately started to develop in 2016 a strategic territorial defense concept,” the Army said through its spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Louie Villanueva.

1st BCT, a rapidly deployable unit with right force-mix, will consist of two infantry and one mechanized battalions, maneuver support consists of specialized 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.

“Brigade Combat Team is a contingency force that could provide operational flexibility and will be the Unified Command’s decisive force in times of crisis and/or armed conflict situations,” the Army said.

“The establishment of BCT is geared towards capacitating the Army into a joint, combined arms force capable of addressing various threats and challenges across the Army’s range of operations. With its given characteristics as a mix-force, it can be employed in various situation both in peacetime or wartime,” it added.