US troops training SAF men on tactical combat care, life-saving support – PNP
ZAMBOANGA CITY – US troops has started training members of the police’s elite Special Action Force (SAF) here under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), ranking police officials said.
However, the six-month training – dubbed Special Action Force Commando Course (SAFCC) – has no counter-terrorism component but is only meant to transfer skills to SAF members on tactical combat care or life-saving support, according to Chief Supt. Miguel Antonio Jr., the director of the Western Mindanao Police Office.
Antonio said the training has been going on inside the Zamboanga Ecozone and Freeport Authority in Barangay San Ramon.
“They are here as consultants. They will provide inputs as trainers for life-saving (skills),” he said.
Supt. Reynald Arino, commander of the 5th SAF Battalion, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that over 100 policemen have been undergoing the tactical combat care training, which he described as “a required foundation course for all SAF members.”
Arino’s unit lost a big number of forces during the bloody clash in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, on Jan. 25, 2015.
Arino described the training as “rigid” and “equivalent to military courses.”
“It’s a rigid training (aimed at developing) individual skills, team capability enhancement and mission profile, where potential SAF candidates will be subjected to a test mission before they graduate,” he said.
Arino said the participants would acquire skills in tactical combat care and not in counter-terrorism.
“Maybe in some other courses in the future, but right now, it’s a commando course and the Americans are here to help us, facilitate training in medical courses or how to save our comrades in the battlefield,” he said, adding that most of the participants came from various Mindanao areas.
Similar courses, he said, have been going on in the Visayas and Luzon.
Upon completing the six-month course, the participants have the option to be part of the SAF or return to their respective units as trainers, according to Arino. SFM
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