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Philippine Army

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Title: Philippine Army  
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Subject: List of AFP Chiefs of Staff, Philippine Army Reserve Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Vicente Lim, AFP Modernization Act
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Philippine Army

The Philippine Army (PA), (Filipino: Hukbong Katihan ng Pilipinas; Spanish: Ejército Filipino), is the main branch and largest branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) responsible for ground warfare. Commanding General, Lieutenant General Eduardo Año, former Chief of Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP),[1] assumed office on 15 July 2015, replacing Lieutenant General Hernando DCA Iriberri, the new Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines.[2][3] It's main headquarters is located at Fort Bonifacio.


  • History 1
  • Functions 2
  • Regular units 3
    • Infantry 3.1
    • Armor and cavalry 3.2
    • Combat support units 3.3
    • Service support units 3.4
  • Special units 4
  • Bases 5
  • Major equipment 6
  • Future acquisitions 7
    • Combat vehicles 7.1
      • Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) 7.1.1
    • Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) 7.2
      • Rifles and handguns 7.2.1
      • Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) 7.2.2
    • Heavy weapons 7.3
      • Artillery 7.3.1
    • Missile systems 7.4
      • Shore-to-Ship Missiles (SSM) 7.4.1
      • Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAM) 7.4.2
    • Miscellaneous 7.5
      • Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) 7.5.1
      • Engineering equipment 7.5.2
      • Force protection equipment 7.5.3
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The Philippine Army, as the ground forces branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), traces its roots to the Tejeros Convention of March 22, 1897, from the days of the Philippine Revolution in Cavite, which among its resolutions, ordered to raise a standing army for the revolutionary forces. The Philippine Revolutionary Army, led by its first commanding general, Captain General Artemio Ricarte, was the result of that convention's decision. The new army fought the battles of the revolution until the Pact of Biak-na-Bato in the same year of its creation; and then again from 1898 until the collapse of the First Republic in 1901. Henceforth, March 22 is commemorated as Army Day to honor its inception.

During the final years of the Philippine-American War, with the notable successes of the all-Filipino Macabebe Scouts cavalry squadron (raised in 1899) under U.S. command, the American President Theodore Roosevelt officially sanctioned the raising of the Moro Rebellion) through 1914.

Starting in 1910, Filipino personnel in the Philippine Scouts were sent to the United States Military Academy with one PS soldier being sent per year. Several of these graduates who served with the Scouts, plus PC officers, both formed part of the first officer corps of the revitalized Philippine Army in 1935.

The Philippine Army of today was initially organized under the National Defense Act of 1935 (Commonwealth Act No. 1) that formally created the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The act specified that in so far as may be practicable, original appointments by the President in grades above third lieutenant should be made from among former holders of reserve commissions in the United States Army, from among former officers of the Philippine Scouts and Constabulary.[4][5]

After the establishment of the Philippine Commonwealth on November 15, 1935,

  • Philippine Army Official website
  • Department of National Defense Official Website
  • Armed Forces of the Philippines Official Website
  • Office of the President Official Website
  • Philippine Government Arsenal Official Website
  • Philippine Military Academy Official Website
  • Philippine Armed Forces additional Information site

External links

  1. ^ Eduardo Año
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b U.S. Army in World War II: Fall of the Philippines, Chapter 1
  7. ^ Jose 1992, pp. 191–210.
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^ Niehorster,
  10. ^ Leo Niehorster, North Luzon Force, accessed January 2014. See also Major Rolando Pesano, 'A Brief History of the 31st Division, Philippine Army.' Brig Gen William E. Brougher was assigned to command the 11th Division in September 1941.
  11. ^ Leo Niehorster
  12. ^ Jose 1992, pp. 210–214.
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Untitled Document
  18. ^ http://dsca.mils/default/files/EDA_053013c.xlsx
  19. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ Philippine Army has confirmed the purchase of 63,000 M-4 assault rifles -, 19 March 2014
  26. ^
  27. ^ Philippines acquires RPG-7 (USA) for anti-armour operations -, 13 January 2014
  28. ^
  29. ^ Salarzon, JB: Special Report : P8 Billion na ang nagastos sa modernisasyon ng Army , Abante / Abante Tonight, August 2008,
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ Israeli Company Elbit Systems to provide 12 155mm towed howitzer Soltam Athos to Philippines - 1 April 2014
  36. ^
  37. ^ a b
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^


Another joint purchase with the Philippine Marine Corps is for around 44,000 new body armor or force protection equipment,[42] composed of basic vest, plate inserts and soft-ballistic panel and weighing between 5.8 kilograms to 6.8 kg.[43]

Force protection equipment

It was reported that the Philippine Army is planning to acquire P530 million worth of disaster response equipment that includes 6 units of road rollers, 30 units of dump trucks, 14 units of excavators, 8 units of road graders, and 12 units of dozers.[41]

Engineering equipment

The Philippine Army has allotted 1.5 million pesos for its development of its 3rd Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The UAV will be an enhanced version of the Philippine Army's first two drones, the "Raptor" and the "Knight Falcon".[40]

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)


The DND has also shown interest to acquire the HAWK-5 variant of Raytheon Corporation's MIM-23 HAWK SAM system to complement and protect the shore-to-ship launchers the government also intends to acquire.[37]

The DND has shown interest to purchase of surface-to-air missiles from Israel for the Philippine Army.[38] Offers were made by Israel-based companies Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and Israel Military Industries Ltd..[39]

Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAM)

The DND plans to acquire a shore-based missile system with a budget of Php 6.5 billion that will be placed under the control and supervision of the Army.[36] It will consist of 12 launchers with its attendant trailers and tracking systems plus the missiles themselves. These shore-to-ship missiles could be fired to hit naval or other sea-based targets.[37]

Shore-to-Ship Missiles (SSM)

Missile systems

In December 2013, an announcement for public bidding to purchase Php 700 million worth of howitzers and ammunition was made. This is to replace FH-70s included in the canceled Italian arms package deal. The acquisition consists of 12 units of 155mm Towed Howitzer (6 for the Army, 6 for the Marine Corps) and 240 rounds of 155mm High Explosive (HE) ammunition rounds with an approved budget of Php 438.6 million. The other project, which has a budget of Php 303.8 million, is for acquisition of 5,990 nos. of 25mm rounds, 43,578 nos. of 40mm rounds, and 4,500 nos. of 105mm howitzer ammunition and other explosives. The Department of National Defense opened the bidding for 12 units of 155 mm howitzers and 240 rounds of projectiles worth of P438.6 million. The acquisition will boost the existing howitzers in its inventory but were outdated.[33][34] On 1 April 2014, Israeli company Elbit Systems won the bid and will deliver 12 Soltam ATHOS towed artillery pieces.[35]

A plan to acquire 100 M113-derived VCC-1 APCs and 25 FH-70 155mm howitzers from Italy as part of a deal for further purchase of Italian armaments was announced in November, 2012.[32] The FH-70 were supposed to fill in the 155mm towed howitzer requirement announced as early as 2008. But this plan was cancelled as the package to acquire used Italian arms did not materialize.

A previous requirement for 100 units of 81mm mortar,[28] 335 units of rocket launchers/light anti-tank weapons, 18 units 155 mm towed howitzers with 5-ton truck prime movers was announced in 2008.[29] plus night fighting systems.[30] The Serbian-made M69B 81mm mortar was selected for the mortar requirement which were completely delivered in 2013,[31] while the 155mm towed howitzers requirements were revised. The acquisition for shoulder fired rocket launchers and night fighting systems are still in process.


Heavy weapons

In January 2014, the Philippine Army ordered 400 Airtronic RPG-7s from the United States to replace their obsolete M18 and M67 recoilless rifles. The Airtronic RPG-7 is 60 percent lighter than the recoilless rifles and deliveries are to be completed by the end of the year.[27]

Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG)

On May 4, 2013, the Department of National Defense (DND) has declared the United States-based Remington company the winning bidder to supply 50,629 pieces of M4 rifles, according to the Philippine representative of the company.[23] On Dec 2, 2013 Remington announced that it has been awarded, a $47 million initial contract, to supply and deliver R4 carbines with accessories and training by the AFP.[24] On 18 March 2014, the Philippine Army confirmed the purchase of 63,000 new-built M4 carbines for P2.4 billion, with the rifles costing P38,402 each. The M4s are part of an effort to replace the Army's Vietnam-era automatic rifles.[25] July 2014, deliveries have begun.[26]

A joint purchase with the Philippine Marine Corps for around 50,000 new rifles based on M16/M4/AR-15 platform and 5,500 close combat optics is underway, to replace the older M16A1 still in service on both armed forces branches.[22]

Rifles and handguns

Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW)

The Philippine Army is expecting delivery of 114 M113A2 armored personnel carriers from the ex-US Army stocks, which are expected to arrive before the end of 2015.[17] These are part of an earlier request by the Philippine government which was approved by the DSCA in 2012.[18] Another batch of 28 M113A2, which includes 14 units to be armed with 76 mm turrets taken from decommissioned FV101 Scorpion tanks and fitted with modern fire control and thermal imaging equipment,[19] 10 M113A2 with a Remote Controlled Weapons system (6 with 12.7mm machine guns, 4 with 25mm autocannons), and 4 armored recovery vehicles.[20] These modifications will be made by Israeli company Elbit Systems Land and C4I before delivery of the 1st batch of 18 units will be on June while the second batch of 10 units will be on July in 2015.[21]

Armored Personnel Carrier (APC)

Combat vehicles

Future acquisitions

The Philippine Army makes use of different kinds of equipment in its arsenal like pistols, submachine guns, shotguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, machine guns, grenades, grenade launchers, mortars, anti-tank weapons, night vision devices, force protection equipments, combat radios, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles, utility vehicles, field ambulances, howitzers, surveillance aircraft and assault boats.

Major equipment

Luzon Visayas Mindanao
Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Metro Manila Camp Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City Camp Basilio Navarro, Zamboanga City
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, Metro Manila Camp Sergio Osmena, Sr., Cebu City Camp Felix Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City
Camp Gen. Rigoberto Atienza, Libis Quezon City Camp Gen. Macario G. Peralta, Jr., Jamindan, Capiz Camp BGen. Edilberto Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro
Camp Marcelo Adduro, Caggay, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan Camp Jizmundo, Banga, Aklan Camp Major Cesar L. Sang-an, Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur
Camp Melchor F. Dela Cruz, Upi Gamu, Isabela Camp Gen. Adriano Hernandez, Dingle, Iloilo Camp Natividad, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon
Fort Gregorio Del Pilar, Baguio City Camp Martin Delgado, Iloilo City Camp Osito Bahian, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon
Camp Oscar Florendo, Parian, San Fernando, La Union Camp Monteclaro, Miag-ao, Iloilo Camp Ranao, Marawi City, Lanao del Sur
Camp Lt. Tito Abat, Manaoag, Pangasinan Camp Tirambulo, Guihulngan, Negros Oriental Camp Allere, Salvador, Lanao del Norte
Camp Servillano Aquino Tarlac City, Tarlac Camp Leon Kilat, Tanjay City, Negros Oriental Camp Duma Sinsuat, Barira, Maguindanao
Camp O'Donnell, Sta. Lucia, Capas, Tarlac Camp Fernandez, Angan-an, Sibulan, Negros Oriental Camp BGen Gonzalo H. Siongco, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao
Fort Ramon Magsaysay, Palayan, Nueva Ecija Camp Ruperto Kangleon Palo, Leyte Camp Lucero, Carmen, Cotabato
Camp Tinio, Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija Camp Downes Military Reservation, Ormoc City, Leyte Camp Gen. Paulino Santos, Alamada, Cotabato
Camp Tecson, San Miguel, Bulacan, Bulacan Camp Vicente Lukban, Catbalogan, Western Samar Camp BGen. Hermenegildo Agaab, Malungon, Sarangani
Camp Gen. Mateo Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal Camp Overton, Suarez, Iligan City
Camp Riego de Dios, Tanza, Cavite Camp Fermin Lira, Jr., General Santos City, South Cotabato
Camp Guillermo Nakar, Lucena City, Quezon Torrey Barracks, Malabang, Lanao del Sur
Camp Gen. Alfredo M. Santos, Calauag, Quezon Camp Amai Pakpak, Marawi City, Lanao del Sur
Camp Elias Angeles, Pili, Camarines Sur Camp Cabunbata, Isabela, Basilan
Camp Weene Martillana, San Jose, Pili, Camarines Sur
Camp Simeon Ola, Legazpi, Albay
Camp Eldridge, Los Baños, Laguna

The list of all military bases in the Philippines


Philippine Army Special Forces freefall jumpers with Special Operations Command, stationed at Fort Magsaysay

The Philippine Army has a number of units dedicated to special operations. These units report directly to the Philippine Army Special Operations Command

Special units

Service support units

  • 51st Engineering Brigade, PA
  • 52nd Engineering Brigade, PA
  • 53rd Engineering Brigade, PA
  • Army Signal Regiment
  • Army Artillery Regiment
  • Civil-Military Operations Group
  • Intelligence Security Group

Combat support units

Armor and cavalry


The Philippine Army has several regular units dedicated to counter-insurgency and conventional army operations.

Regular units

  • Perform such functions as the higher authorities may direct.
  • Train, organize and equip all Army reserve units; and
  • Develop, in accordance with the other major services, tactics, techniques and equipment of interest to the Army on field operations;
  • Prepare such units as may be necessary for the effective prosecution of national defense plans and programs and Armed Forces mission, including the expansion of the peacetime Army component to meet any emergency;
  • Organize, train and equip Army forces for the conduct of prompt and sustained combat operations on land;

The functions of the Philippine Army are:[14]

Philippine Army Staff Sgt. Manolo Martin demonstrates the proper method of holding a cobra during a survival course in the Balikatan Exercise 2008.


It would only take until the 1970s and the Communist and Muslim rebellions that would force the PA into the establishment of its 2nd Infantry Division, which led to the raising of more infantry divisions all over the country, as well as the formal raising of the Army's Special Operations Command and what is now today the Mechanized Infantry Division.

1950 would see the new army not just fighting Communist groups in Luzon but from August of that year, even the Korean People's Army and their allies in the People's Liberation Army in the Korean War as PA Battalion Combat Teams (BCTs) forming the bulk of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea formed part of the UN forces, led by the US, that fought in the conflict. The decade saw the raising of the first active division of the Army, the 1st Infantry Division. With the victory over the Huks later in the 50s, the BCTs became active duty infantry battalions. Formed in the same time was the 1st Scout Ranger Regiment, and in 1962 the PA raised its airborne and special forces formation, the Special Forces Regiment (Airborne) following the traditions of the US Army Special Forces (the Green Berets) and the 11th Airborne Division that helped liberate Southern Luzon and Manila at the closing stages of the Japanese occupation of the country.

Service of the Philippine Army as part of the United States Armed Forces terminated as of midnight, June 30, 1947, by authority of General Order #168, Army Forces Western Pacific.[8] The next day, on July 1, President Manuel Roxas issued Executive Order No. 94 s. 1947 which, among other things, reorganized the Philippine Army into a service branch of what was now called the Armed Forces of the Philippines.[13] This resulted in the formation of the Philippine Air Force and reformation of the Philippine Navy as separate organizations after long years as part of the Philippine Army.

After the surrender of the Filipino and American forces in the Philippines in May 1942, independent guerrilla groups, composed of both civilian and military personnel, began to form throughout the Islands. Many of these groups worked under the control of General Douglas MacArthur's General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area.

Japanese forces invaded the Philippines after the bombing of Visayan-Mindanao Force under Colonel W.F. Sharp in the southern islands (61st, 81st, and 101st Divisions plus three other regiments),[9] and the Reserve Force. North Luzon Force included the 11th, 21st, and 31st Divisions, all reserve.[10] South Luzon Force include the 1st (regular) Division, and the 41st, 51st, and 71st (reserve) Divisions.[11] These divisions were incorporated into the United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE).[12] The equipment of these units included: Canon de 155mm GPF; 75 mm Gun M1917; 2.95 inch QF Mountain gun; Stokes Mortar; Brandt mle 27/31; Canon d'Infanterie de 37 modèle 1916 TRP; M2 Browning machine gun; M1917 Browning machine gun; M1919 Browning machine gun; M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle; M1917 Enfield rifle; M1903 Springfield rifle; Thompson submachine gun; and the M1911 pistol.

A decade later, with the threat of war with Japan becoming imminent, on July 26, 1941 a new U.S. command in the Far East was created, known as the United States Army Forces Far East (USAFFE) under the command of General Douglas MacArthur. On the same date, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, issued a Presidential Order (6 Fed. Reg. 3825) which called the Philippine Army into the service of the Armed Forces of the United States. The Presidential Order did not order all the military forces of the Philippine government into the service of the United States Armed Forces. Only those units and personnel indicated in orders issued by a general officer of the United States Army were mobilized and made an integral part of the United States Army Forces Far East (USAFFE), and only those members of a unit who physically reported for duty were inducted.[7][8] With an annual appropriation of 16 million pesos, the mobilized units trained new Filipino members in defending the nation and protecting its people.

The first group of 20,000 men was called up on January 1, 1937; and by the end of 1939 there were 4,800 officers and 104,000 men in the reserves.[6] Infantry training was given at camps scattered throughout the Philippines; field artillery training was concentrated in the vicinity of the U.S. Army's Fort Stotsenburg near Angeles, about fifty miles north of Manila, and specialized training was given at Fort William McKinley just south of Manila. Coast artillery instruction was carried on at Fort Stotsenburg and at Grande Island in Subic Bay by personnel supplied largely by the American commander at Corregidor.

The development of the new Philippine Army was slow.[6] The year 1936 was devoted to the building of camps, organization of cadres, and the special training of instructors, drawn largely from the Constabulary, which joined the new force as the Constabulary Division. The commander of the Philippine Department provided Philippine Scouts as instructors and detailed U.S. Army officers to assist in the inspection, instruction, and administration of the program. By the end of the year instructors had been trained and camps established.

With this act, the AFP was officially established. [4]

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