FORT RAMON MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija – The newly acquired 5.56mm M4 rifle by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was officially distributed by the Chief of Staff Armed Force of the Philippines (CSAFP), General Gregorio Pio P Catapang Jr to field Army units in a simple ceremonial hand-over on today, September 4, here.
The first units of the Philippine Army to receive the newly acquired rifles are the Light Reaction Regiment (LRR) of the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and the 79th Infantry Battalion of 3rd Infantry Division (3ID) who undergone the Battalion of Excellence (BOE) training.
To ensure that the newly acquired M4 carbine rifles will be documented and recorded prior to the issuance to the soldiers, the 7th Infantry Division strictly adhere to the supply procedure through the Chief of the 3rd Field Property Accountability Office (3FPAO) of the Army Property Accountability Office (APAO).
The M4 rifles were delivered in two batches last July 5 with 100 units and July 31 with 27,200 units. The remaining 23,329 units are expected to be delivered in December, this year.
The AFP will distribute a total of 27,300 units of the newly acquired 5.56mm M4 rifles to the Philippine Army and Philippine Marine Corps.
With the procurement of the 5.56mm M4 rifle, the early models of M-16 and M-16A1 rifle will be replace, majority of which were as old as the Vietnam War era and are already in poor condition and need refurbishing or replacement.
The infantry squad is the smallest operating unit of the Philippine Army, the so called the “cutting edge” of the organization, to receive the new 5.56mm M4 rifle. This will greatly boost the morale of the troops and improve their war fighting capability in the performance of their duty in protecting the people and securing the land.
The Light Reaction Regiment (LRR), as one of the recipient of the new M4 rifle, as a different organizational structure wherein the “Stock” is the basic unit of LRR composed of five fully equipped personnel, highly trained individuals drawn from the elite units of the Philippine Army (Special Forces Regiment and Scout Ranger Regiment) who underwent rigid training on counter terrorism.
The LRR is capable of the following tasks: Special Reconnaissance, Special Operations and target interdiction, Hostage Rescue and Personnel Recovery and Direct Action Operation.
One of the main goal of the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR) is the improvement of the mission-essential requirements in terms of fire power by the ground forces. The Army envisions that by “2016: The Army will be well-equipped that has established a respectable image in Southeast Asia”.