The Light Reaction Regiment
The Light Reaction Regiment, activated on January 16, 2014, is the lead counter-terrorist unit of the Philippine Army. Formerly the Light Reaction Battalion, the Philippine Army has decided to transform it into a regiment size composed of six companies.
The Light Reaction Regiment can trace its origins back to year 2000 when non-commissioned officers from the Scout Rangers and Special Forces were trained by American military adviser from the 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group. From February to July 2001, American special forces trained and raised the former LRC with further training during the 2002 Balikatan exercises, whose members were first drawn from the Scout Rangers and 1st Special Forces Regiment. After days and years of training under American instructors, the LRC was officially activated on February 1, 2004. It was first deployed in Mindanao to combat Abu Sayyaf Group terrorists responsible for abducting several foreign hostages.
The Light Reaction Battalion has proved its effectiveness in the Armed Forces of the Philippines's counter-terrorism efforts when it was deployed in Zamboanga City to contain rogue MNLF members that seized and staged attacks and held as hostages about 200 residents.
Today, the Regiment's mission is to organize, train, equip, provide and sustain counter terrorist unit and conduct counter terrorist operations in support of the Philippine Army's mission.
The unit is capable in hostage rescue and personnel recovery operations, special reconnaissance mission, special operations target interdiction, direct action operations, and counter-terrorist operations.
The Scout Rangers
The Scout Rangers, known officially as the First Scout Ranger Regiment, is the Philippine Army’s primary Special Forces unit that specializes in anti-guerilla warfare. Established by General Rafael Ileto, the “Father of the Rangers”, on November 25, 1950, they were the heroes of their time who sealed the fate of the HUKBALAHAP guerillas.
During the 1950s and 1960s, the Scout Rangers were responsible for neutralizing the HUKBALAHAP forces.
In the 1970s, the Scout Rangers were in the forefront of the military campaign against the Moro National Liberation Front.
Come 1980s and 1990s, the Scout Rangers continue to deliver gains for the Philippine Army and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. They played a major role in capturing the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) camps during the all out war against the MILF. They were in the forefront of internal security operations against communist insurgents lawless elements and terrorists.
Just recently, members of the Scout Rangers were responsible for the neutralization of New People's Army leader Leoncio Pitao @ Commander Parago.
Through the years, the Scout Rangers continue to live up to the expectations of the AFP and the country as well. A number of Scout Rangers have been recipients of the Medal for Valor Award, the highest award given to military personnel, for courage, heroism, and gallantry in combat.
The Special Forces (Airborne)
The Special Forces Regiment (Airborne) is one of the elite forces of the Philippine Army established in 1960 by the then Captain Fidel V Ramos, the first Commanding Officer of the Special Forces.
Molded through the most rigid training in the Philippine Army, the Special Forces possess the skills for unconventional tactics, subversion and guerilla warfare.
Before one can become a member of the Special Forces, he must undergo the Special Forces Combat Qualification Course. After which, he is required to complete the Special Forces Operations Course, an eight-month course that equips each soldier in the basics of Special Forces and unconventional warfare operations. Soldiers further equip themselves through the Basic Airborne Course and the Military Scuba Diving Course.
The Special Forces are competent, professional, and disciplined soldiers.