Sep 132014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/10/07MANILA3522.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MANILA3522
2007-10-26 02:14
2011-08-30 01:44
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHML #3522 2990214
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 260214Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8721
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
C O N F I D E N T I A L MANILA 003522

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/05/2017
TAGS: MARR MASS MCAP PREL RP
SUBJECT: PHILIPPINE SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND SHOWCASES CAPABILITIES FOR AMBASSADOR

Classified By: Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney for Reasons
1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: During the Ambassador’s October 22 visit to
Fort Magsaysay, the Philippine Special Operations Command
demonstrated a high degree of professionalism and training.
Philippine Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Hermogenes
Esperon and members of his senior staff provided a broad
overview of their Special Forces capabilities, including a
live fire demonstration of a hostage rescue scenario and
sniper teams in action, to underscore the effectiveness of
their units. Little more than a decade old, the Philippine
Special Operations Command has already established itself as
an integral force provider in support of the Philippine armed
forces’ fight against Muslim and communist terrorists. The
Special Operations Command actively participates in bilateral
exercises with the United States and Australia to enhance
tactics, techniques, procedures, and interoperability with
allied forces. END SUMMARY.

¶2. (C) On October 22, the Ambassador and DCM visited the
Philippine Special Operations Command at Fort Magsaysay,
north of Manila. Accompanied by Chief of Staff General
Esperon, the Ambassador was greeted by eight generals
representing key positions in the Philippine military,
including Lieutenant General Alexander Yano, commander of the
Philippine Army, viewed by many as a leading contender to
replace Esperon as chief of staff. The generals briefed the
Ambassador on the significant capabilities of the various
components of the Philippine Special Forces and emphasized
that although the Command was established in 1996, it has
distinguished itself repeatedly in conducting successful
special operations in support of the Philippine Army.

¶3. (C) The Special Operations Command is comprised of three
elements: the Special Forces Regiment (Airborne), the First
Scout Ranger Regiment, and the Light Reaction Battalion.
Each has specific roles in conducting unconventional warfare,
reconnaisance, counter-terrorism, and other combat
operations. Between January and October 2007, forces of the
Special Operations Command had 21 engagements with Muslim
terrorists and 14 with the New People’s Army (NPA). The
commanders told the Ambassador that the military is on pace
to neutralize the NPA by 2010, in line with President
Arroyo’s stated priority. In addition, the commanders
highlighted some of their most significant achievements
against the Abu Sayyaf Group and the Jemayyah Islamiyah,
including killing or apprehending eight key terrorist leaders.

¶4. (C) During the visit, the Ambassador toured Fort
Magsaysay, the largest military reservation in Southeast
Asia, and met members of the U.S.-equipped and trained Light
Reaction Battalion, highly-skilled troops who specialize in
hostage rescue and terrorist interdiction. Following the
briefing and tour, the Ambassador witnessed a live-fire
demonstrations by hostage rescue and sniper teams. The
impressive display highlighted the skill level and
professionalism of the Philippine Special Forces and
underscored the value of U.S. training and assistance.

¶5. (C) The visit of the Ambassador to Fort Magsaysay
coincided with the annual Talon Vision and PHIBLEX exercises,
in which more than 2,000 U.S. Marines conduct joint
operations with Philippine troops to enhance
interoperability. During her tour of the base, the
commanders showed the Ambassador a runway that U.S. Marines
had built during a few years earlier, commenting favorably on
the excellent cooperation Phillipine forces enjoy with U.S.
troops during annual joint exercises at Fort Magsaysay and
other locations.

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm

You can also access this site through the State Department’s
Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/

KENNEY

   

 

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