Marine Battalion Landing Team deploying to Sulu

After retraining and refurbishment, the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) on Tuesday announced that its Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT)-8 will be deployed to Sulu soon to help in ongoing operations aimed at neutralizing the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorist threat.

Marine Capt. Felix Serapio Jr., PMC spokesperson, said the looming deployment of MBLT-8 is in line with President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s guidance to focus operations in Sulu so that the ASG threat can be defeated.

This is also why the Philippine Army has earlier deployed its 1st Brigade Combat Team to the province, he added.

Serapio declined to comment on when the MBLT-8 will be deployed to Sulu and stressed that the higher headquarters, from the Philippine Navy and Armed Forces of the Philippines, will decide on when the unit will be sent to Sulu.

MBLT-8 was declared as operational unit during short ceremonies at the Bonifacio Naval Station Parade Ground, Naval Station Jose Francisco, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City with PMC Commandant, Major Gen. Alvin Parreño, gracing the Tuesday morning event.

Retraining of the MBLT-8 took nine months, Serapio said.

“In retraining, we’re building the skills (set of every Marine assigned in MBLT-8) and afterwards we come up with team training, then we will review the lessons learned and also they will have get new gear or upgraded equipment,” the PMC spokesperson said in Filipino.

Serapio said MBLT-8 was originally based in Cagayan and that all 12 MBLTs of the PMC are scheduled for retraining and refurbishment every 10 years. PNA