By Roy Mabasa
In support of the country’s counterterrorism effort, the United States military has turned over some US$43.4 million (P178 million) worth of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Philippine Marine Special Operations Group (MARSOG).
In a statement, the United States Embassy in Manila said the 525 sets of ballistic vests, lightweight ballistic plates, tactical ballistic helmets, and accessories were provided through the Counterterrorism Train and Equip Program.
The equipment will provide increased protection for Philippine Marines personnel conducting counterterrorism operations, as well as operations against transnational threats, specifically in the southern Philippines.
The force protection equipment delivered last May 31 will fill critical equipment gaps for Marine Operators within MARSOG, a key Counterterrorism and Special Operations unit within the Philippine Marine Corps.
As a longstanding ally of the Philippines, the Embassy said the US government continues to provide support to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) through both grant assistance and expedited sales of arms and munitions to assist both long-term AFP modernization goals and urgent counterterrorism and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief requirements.