Mamasapano Report: Communication bogged down, some M203 ordnance defective, ammo ran out

The Philippine National Police-Board of Inquiry finds that during the Oplan Exodus, Special Action Force’s Tactical Command Post and Advance Command Post was plagued by failures of command and control from the very start especially in communication. At the start of the Oplan, “mobile communication was used as the primary mode of communication. However, these devices fell short of what were needed to relay real-time information and coordination of activities to and from the chain of command.”

“54th SAC and 84th Seaborne lost contact during the crucial moment of executing Oplan Exodus. They had to rely on distinctive gunfire to approximate each other’s location. Radio net diagram was provided but failed when radio equipment bogged down,” says in the report’s findings.

The findings added “some of ordnance for M203 were defective. Although there were sufficient rounds of ammunition for each operating troop, the overwhelming strength of enemy caused the troops to run out of ammunition.”

“The common Motorola handheld radios failed when submerged in water because these were not designated for military-type of operations. The battery life was short because of wear and tear,” further says in the findings.

In the conclusion, the report states that “there are indication that 55th SAC was not able to secure its perimeter, conduct reconnaissance, occupy vantage points and establish observation posts.”