Army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team boosts anti-ASG ops in Sulu

The 1,500-strong 1st Brigade Combat Team (1BCT) deployed in Sulu would enhance the ongoing operations against Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists known to be operating in the island province.

“(The unit) will step up the operational tempo against (the terrorists),” Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Noel Detoyato said Monday.

He said the 1BCT would also help complement gaps among units of the AFP tasked to secure Sulu, he added.

“Operational area gaps (in Sulu) will be filled up (by the deployment of the (1BCT),” Detoyato pointed out.

The 1BCT was deployed to Sulu via the strategic sealift vessel, BRP Tarlac (LD-601), last May 31. It is the Army’s contingency force that is capable of addressing “conventional, unconventional, and asymmetric threats”.

It is composed of an intelligence unit, combat engineer company, aviation and explosive ordnance disposal platoon, an air defense artillery battery, among others.

Since its creation in December 2018, the 1BCT has participated in the recently concluded “Salaknib” and “Balikatan” exercises with the United States Pacific Command.

Earlier, AFP spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said the 1BCT intends to add to the required personnel and equipment fill up for the newly created 11th Infantry Division in Sulu which is expected to complete its equipment and personnel lists by 2022. PNA