AFP to beef-up Marine strength in West Philippine Sea

Armed Forces of the Philippines leadership is planning to beef-up its Marine force in Palawan. The deciding body of AFP is currently discussing possibilities.

According to GMA News Online’s source, one battalion from Sulu-based 2nd Marine Brigade will be redeployed to Palawan-based 3rd Marine Brigade.

The source said Marine brigade in Palawan is currently undersized and is needing one more battalion to become a full complement brigade.

Sulu-based Marine brigade will be downsized to give space for army deployment. It was reported earlier this week that augmentation troops from Philippine Army were deployed in the area.

Palawan was chosen for their new assignment due to West Philippine Sea dispute with China. Additional Marines may help in territorial defense operation.

Currently, PHIBLEX 15 is happening in some parts of West Philippine Sea. The 3rd Marine Brigade is participating in the said amphibious exercises.

“A significant amount of the exercise will take place here in the province of Palawan,” AFP Brig. Gen. Armando V. Banez, commander of the 3rd Marine Brigade.

“We are sending out a strong message of commitment to the people in Palawan, and our country as a whole, as we support nation building and developmental efforts throughout our country.”