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The Philippine Marine Battalions

he Philippine Marine
Battalion is the maneuver
element of the Philippine
Marine Corps. The
Battalion, when attached with
supporting elements, it is
designated as a Marine
Battalion Landing Team. It is
the operational element that
"projects the force, carries
out the mission, fires the
weapons, sheds the blood, lands
on enemy beaches and takes the
high ground."(Gallant Warriors
from the Sea; p.30)

Composed of three rifle
Companies and a Headquarters and Service Company the battalion is
augmented with supporting units for its specific mission. These can be
additional vehicles for transport, wheeled armored vehicles, amphibious
assault vehicles, artillery, watercraft, etc.

An MBLT is a combined arms force of the Fleet-Marine Team that will
project power from the sea, through amphibious operations inland from
the coastline. The Combined Arms concept integrates infantry, armor,
artillery, CSS and more recently special operations capability into the
battalion making it able for independent action on ground operations.

The MBLT and its components in 48 hours can be ready to move by Land,
Air or Sea to the objective area and carry out operations depending on
available shipping and aircraft.

There are ten Marine infantry Battalions in the Philippine Marine
Corps. They are organized as 3 Battalions in a Marine Brigade. One
Battalion is usually rotated to Headquarters Philippine Marine Corps
for refitting and retraining for about six months or more and then
deployed to the field.

Three Brigades are deployed in their area of responsibility; they
direct the operations of the Battalions under them while providing
logistical and administrative support.
In 1997 the 6th Marine Battalion organized a Special Operations
Platoon. It was composed of Scout Sniper Squad and Hostage Rescue Team
for urban and counter terrorist operations that were expected to be
encountered in their up coming deployment in Jolo, Sulu, well known for
hostage taking and urban conflict by rebels and lawless elements.

With the success of the 6th Battalion's innovation, other Battalions
began to organize their Special Operation Teams. The 6th Battalion
conducted the second Scout Sniper Course in Bud Dato, Sulu that trained
Marines from the different Battalions of the 3rd Marine Brigade on
Jolo. This has led to standardizing the training and procedures for
Marine Battalion Landing Teams that are Special Operations Capable
MBLT(SOC) in 2001.

The addition of this limited Special Operations capability allows the
Fleet-Marine Force Commander to respond to a threat in any part of the
Philippines. The task of the MBLT(SOC) is quoted as "To Shoot, Move and
Communicate. To take that hill and hold it. Find, Fix and Finish the
enemy. To be a force in readiness equipped and trained to handle a wide
spectrum of tactical operations in present and perceived internal and
external threats."