From drums to drum Boats

Stepping up efforts in assuring the safety and security of its people, particularly now that the typhoon season has come, the 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division, Philippine Army has adopted an innovative project of turning steel drums into drum boats.

The idea was born out of the 702nd Infantry (Defender) Brigade’s need for new rubber boats, having their previous boats rendered unserviceable due to the weakness of its thin PVC rubber structure that gets torn when hit with sharp, floating objects. Thinking of ways to acquire a new boat, Captain Roberto Agustin, Logistics Officer of 702nd Infantry

Brigade, noticed the empty steel drums lying at the Motor pool area and came up with a brilliant idea of using it to build a boat. He conducted research on boat fabrication and recommended a project proposal to then Brigade Commander, Brigadier General David B Diciano (now the Assistant Division Commander of 7ID, PA).  The request was approved and by 08 June 2015, the unit started the fabrication of the drum boat.

The strength and durability of the drum boat was fully tested on 18 October 2015, during the onslaught of typhoon “Lando”.  The unit engaged in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) and successfully rescued flood victims in Mangatarem, Aguilar and Bugallon, all of Pangasinan.

Impressed with both the idea and performance of a steel drum boat, Major General Angelito M De Leon, Commander, 7ID, PA decided to fabricate 7ID Headquarter’s own drum boat, seeing how the past typhoons in its AOR have flooded the towns and cities surrounding Fort Magsaysay, before pooling down to Bulacan where immense flooding has been a long standing problem.  He engaged the help of Cpt Agustin who sent Corporal Clyde L Mi-ing to assist in the completion of the project. 

Construction of the drum boat in 7ID, PA was undertaken by the Service Support Battalion (SSBn) under the guidance of Colonel Nelson A Buhay, the Assistant Chief of Staff for Logistics, G4, 7ID and the help of 1LT Almamae M Nicolas, the Company Commander and S4 of SSBn.  They started building the drum boat April of this year and by June it was completed and was tested at the Pahingahan Dam, just in time for the 28th Founding Anniversary of 7ID, PA.

The 48th Infantry (Guardians) Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Eugenio Julio C Osias IV, also started constructing their own drum boat.  It took the unit almost one month (01-29 February) to finish the boat and tested it at the irrigation in San Rafael, Bulacan. It was said to have performed well.

A total of three (3) units of drum boats were constructed at the 702nd Bde. They gave one to the 24th Infantry (Wildcat) Battalion based in Abra.   In 48IB they were able to finish one (1) unit. At Headquarters, 7ID, PA two (2) units were successfully completed, one will be given to the 3rd Infantry (Regardless of What) Battalion in San Jose City and the other one will be delivered to the 56th Infantry (Tatag) Battalion in Baler.

More boats are expected to be built in the future. All units were likewise advised to inform various local government units, and other reserve units, of the Command’s willingness to assist in the fabrication of said boats upon their request. All boats will be made available for rescue and relief operations should the need arise.

The Army man’s resourcefulness knows no bounds when it comes to protecting the people. Inch by precious inch, the Army strives to show what true service is.

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