Monday, July 21, 2014

MBLT-5 arrives in Manila for retraining, refurbishment

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 21): MBLT-5 arrives in Manila for retraining, refurbishment

After conducting 10 years of security operations against lawless elements in Mindanao, officers and enlisted personnel of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-5 (MBLT-5) arrived at the Philippine Navy (PN) headquarters in Roxas Boulevard, Manila for retraining and refurbishing Monday.

These troops were lauded in arrival ceremony presided by PN flag-officer-in-charge Vice Admiral Jesus C. Millan.

Awarding of the deserving members of the MBLT-5 witnessed by their families and dependents highlighted the activity.

The unit was deployed in Sulu on 2004 under the command of then Lt. Col. Romeo T. Tanalgo who is now a Major General and Philippine Marine Corps chief.

The deployment was intended to augment various military units in Sulu who were sent to neutralize the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), Misuari Breakaway Group and other threat groups operating in Sulu area.

After seven years of deployment in Sulu, MBLT-5 moved to Tawi-Tawi province.

The troops are presently under the Command of Lt. Col. Romel P. Recinto.

Among the notable accomplishments of MBLT-5 are the creation of pro-people programs and projects in promotion of health, welfare, education and alleviation of economic condition of civilian residents through construction of farm-to-market roads, makeshift footbridges, learning day care center, sports facilities, several deep well and water catch basins.

The troops also conducted numerous medical, dental and engineering civic action programs which benefited thousands of residents especially the indigent people.

In the field of military operations, the troops conducted various large scale/small scale combat missions and intelligence/counter intelligence operations which resulted to neutralization and capture of several ASG members and other terrorist groups and recovery of high powered weapons.

One of the most significant accomplishments is the surrender of three former ASG members that became instrumental in the recovery of the cadaver of ASG chief Khadaffy Janjalani who was killed in one of the encounters with government troops in Patikul sometime in September 2006.

The unit was also able to apprehend two ASG members namely Nadzmir Amirul Abu Kudama and Aldamil Jiram Maadi who were with the group responsible for the kidnapping of ABS-CBN news anchor Ces Orena Drilon.

To capture the hearts and minds of the people, MBLT-5 initiated the Literacy for Peace Development (LIPAD) Program in cooperation with Magbasa Kita Foundation Inc. wherein the unit provided Marines to teach adult learners how to read, write, compute basic arithmetic and organize them to team building activities to enhance attitude as peacemaker in the community.

For the year 2013, the unit became instrumental in producing 521 graduates of LIPAD Program in the province of Tawi-Tawi.

During the participation in the pacification of hostilities in Sabah Crisis, the unit apprehended 38 members of Kiram’s Royal Sultanate Forces (RSF) and facilitated the return of 2,854 Filipino deportees affected by the crisis.

On campaign against transnational crimes, the unit scored several apprehensions against smuggling, human trafficking, illegal logging, and illegal fishing.

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