Army activating another brigade of rapid deployment force

After the activation of the 1st Brigade Combat Team (1BCT) last December, plans are afoot to create and activate the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (2BCT) to boost Philippine Army (PA)’s number of rapid deployable forces.

This was bared by Col. Romulo Manuel, PA chief of plans, during an interview with reporters in Fort Bonifacio, Wednesday.

The 2BCT along with the 1BCT are meant to address the need of the PA for forces that can be quickly committed for action, similar to such case as the 2013 Zamboanga City siege and the 2017 battle for Marawi City.

“(2BCT) will be combined arms-capable, (in order) to enhance our territorial defense capabilities,” Manuel said.

A Philippine Army brigade is composed of three battalions — 1,500 officers and enlisted personnel — and in the case of the 1BCT and the soon to be activated 2nd BCT, its own armor, artillery, logistics and transport units, allowing it to move quickly.

Initially, officers and other military personnel to form the 2BCT will be taken from existing PA units while the rest will be recruited.

Depending on the security situation, the 2BCT, upon its activation, can be deployed in any place in the country but Manuel said that they are looking to base the unit somewhere in Northern Mindanao. Incidentally, the 1BCT was deployed to Sulu shortly after its activation.