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The OG6, PA History

The Signal Corps was activated by virtue of the National Defense Act of 1936. Charged with the task of establishing signal communications in the ten military districts of the country, signal officers and personnel were given training and were subsequently assigned to the reserve divisions that were mobilized in 1941.

Due to its relatively new inception, the Signal Corps were the least equipped Army unit. Among the first equipment used were obsolete radios and telephone sets salvaged from the depot of Fort William McKinley (presently Fort Bonifacio). Still, the Signal Corps were able to provide crucial service during the Second World War. In the Battle of Bataan, signal personnel were seen to dash in the midst of the battleground, repairing lines and damaged wires. This eventually led to the establishment of vital communication that precipitated the conquest of Bataan and Corregidor by the American Liberation Forces in early 1945, led by General Douglas McArthur.

Before the onset of the war against the Japanese, several Signal Corps units were activated namely, 1st Signal Operations, 1st Signal Light Construction Battalion, 1st Signal Base Depot Company, and 1st Signal Company. Furthermore, an extensive communications network linking the General Headquarters and its subordinate units was established through joint Philippine and American efforts. This was manned by the Signal Service Group under Major Juan Arroyo. This network, aside from performing Signal functions, played a significant role in transmitting election returns during the first post-war elections in 1946.

In 1947 was the need to expand and improve the military’s Signal capabilities. Thus, the Army acquired Signal Corps school buildings and facilities, stockpiled Signal equipment from the American Forces in the Western Pacific, and activated the Signal Branch of the Philippine Ground Force. Additionally, manual telephone systems were replaced by XYPABX systems and High Frequency radio circuits by multi-channel Very High Frequency radio systems.

In 1954, by virtue of AFP General Orders Nr 455, the General Headquarters activated the Signal Service Group, which is composed of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, the Signal Service Battalion, the Signal School, and the Signal Intelligence Service with the Chief Signal Officer serving as the commanding officer. On March 1965, the Signal Service Group was renamed as Communications-Electronics Group (COMMEL) and was tasked to provide, operate and maintain the communications and electronics facilities by which the AFP Chief of Staff exercised control. The COMMEL Group was then re-organized into the Communications-Electronics Service on 13 November 1978 as a reaction to its expanding roles and activities. The Army, as one of the major services of the AFP, in turn reflected the organizational changes of the General Headquarters.

In keeping pace with the advancement of technology, the Office of the Chief COMMEL was elevated to G-staff status as Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Communications, Electronics, and Information Systems, G11 on 01 May 1996 by authority of HPA General Orders Nr 701 dated 24 April 1996. With this elevation, five Colonels sat in the office to guide the operation and maintenance of the communications and electronics facilities. By virtue of HPA General Orders Nr 40 dated 24 January 2005, The Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Comptrollership, G6 was deactivated following the re-designation of the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Communications, Electronics, and Information Systems from G11 to G6 effective 01 February 2005 since “6” is more widely used by most foreign armed forces in designating their CEIS staff. Right afterwards, the creation of the Office of Assistant Chief of Staff for CEIS, G6 of Major PA Subordinate Units has been set forth through the Letter Directive distributed with its effectivity on 21 March 2005.Since then, five Colonels has been designated to be the Assistant Chief of the Staff for Communications, Electronics, and Information Systems, G6.

In addition to the Signal organization, the Army Signal Regiment was established in 2011 as the primary unit responsible for the provision of signal support to the Philippine Army. The Army Management Information Center and the Signal Group, Philippine Army were merged thereby the Army Signal Regiment (Provisional) which was created on 01 April 2011 with the Infantry Division Signal Battalions as its organic units but placed operational control to the Infantry Division. Then again the function of career management as Chief Army Signal Corps was transferred back to the Regiment.

On 30 August 2013, Cyberspace was adopted as one Domains of AFP Operation to address the threats on cybersecurity. The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications, Electronics and Information Systems (CEIS), J6, AFP saw the need to rename its Office to Command and Control Communications, and Cyber Systems (C4S) to effectively manage the cybersecurity initiatives of the AFP. Along with it was the creation of a Cyberspace Management Division that shall formulate the AFP doctrines, guidelines, and policies pertaining to cyberspace as a domain of operation. OJ6, AFP directed all Major Services 6s to start revising their respective Staff Memorandums to adopt the C4 Systems as well.

To address possible attacks utilizing this newly recognized battlefield domain, OG6, PA was tasked to develop cybersecurity capabilities in coordination with other units and offices. Thus, to have the necessary capacity to handle its increasing task, the Signal Corps, headed by COL VENER ODILON D MARIANO GSC (SC) PA, initiated an immediate revision of the approved 2011 Staff Memorandum implemented by then incumbent G6, PA, COL TEODORICO D RAQUEÑO MNSA (GSC) PA synchronized with that of the OJ6, AFP.

With the revised Staff Memo duly approved by the Commanding General on 13 April 2016, the Office of the AC of S for Communications, Electronics and Information Systems (CEIS), G6, PA has been renamed as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Command and Control Communications, and Cyber Systems (C4S), G6, PA in charge of formulating policies for the development and use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) resources required for the effective command and control communications, and cyberspace operations of the Philippine Army. The Office is now composed of seven (7) branches including the newly created Cyberspace Management Branch (CMB). Two branches were also renamed, viz.: Signal Operation Branch (SOB) as Command and Control Communications Systems Operation Branch (C3SOB), and Materiel Management Branch (MMB) as Readiness and Sustainment Branch (RSB) while the other four sustain their respective branch names.