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US forces train SAF men on marksmanship

/ 10:00 AM March 03, 2016

ZAMBOANGA CITY – US forces have started training elite policemen on marksmanship, a skill that would help members of the Special Action Force (SAF) fight insurgents and terrorists, a ranking police official said.

Chief Supt. Randolf Delfin, deputy police director for Western Mindanao, said the 45-day marksmanship training would focus on enhancing the skills and capabilities of SAF men, especially “in our fight against insurgency and terrorism.”

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“We need this to prepare our troops on how to properly fight insurgents and terrorists,” Delfin said.

He said the US forces brought the materials and equipment needed for the training.

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US Army Major Dustin Delcoure, the foreign liaison element of the Pacific Command Augmentation Team, said US troops would teach Filipino counterparts “some skills that we have from years of experience.”

But he admitted that US trainers would also learn from their Filipino counterparts.

“(It’s a) good chance to interact, integrate with units and exchange skills with us,” Delcoure added.

Supt. Reynard Arino, commanding officer of the 5th Special Action Battalion, which lost about 30 men during the Mamasapano clash of January 25, said some 60 SAF men would learn techniques, tactics and procedures during the 45-day training. “The course covers marksmanship, small unit tactics, immediate action drill and at the end of the mission, the participants are expected to produce a mission profile,” he said.

US troops have also been training SAF men on tactical combat care or life-saving support since last month, Chief Supt. Miguel Antonio Jr., the director of the Western Mindanao Police Office, said.

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.

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Arino called tactical combat care “a required foundation course for all SAF members” and described it 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. SFM

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