Combat Service & Support Brigade

THE FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION
he Field Artillery Battalion (FABN) is the fire support unit of the Combat and Service Support Brigade (CSSB) of the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC). It is tasked to provide artillery fire support for the operating units of the PMC. The Battalion is capable of providing artillery fire support under different combat conditions, as well as to provide ground and reinforcing artillery fire support. It is likewise capable of conducting defensive operations during hostile ground attack. This unit was activated on January 1, 2000 pursuant to HPMC GO Nr 23 dated 20 January 2000. It is composed of a Headquarters and Service Company (HSC), and several Howitzer Batteries each designated as a Marine Company, common to all Marine line and support companies. The unit started as a mere three (3) batteries activated in 1974 to complement the warfighting capability of the Philippine Marines at the height of the secessionist movement in Mindanao. These batteries used the 105mm Pack Howitzer Oto-Melara Model 56/14 from Italy. and the 105mm Howitzer M101A1 from the US. The FABN Headquarters and Service Company provides command control, administration and command support function, as well as organic supply and organizational maintenance support to the battalion and its subordinate units. It is likewise tasked to provide saluting battery during ceremonial activities not only for the PMC but for the Philippine Navy and the AFP as well, and it is likewise well capable of providing selective air defense. The other operating howitzer batteries perform fire support operations for the different Marine Battalion Landing Teams (MBLTs) in the operating areas and also complementing ground fire support operations for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFPs) task Forces. They not only participate in these ground operations but in defensive operations as well. During the height of the recent 2000 conflict in Mindanao, its howitzer batteries were attached to the Marine Brigades operating intensively in the area and have significantly contributed much in the neutralization of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Central Mindanao especially during the return to government control of the Narciso Ramos Highway. Furthermore, the unit was eventually attached to

the Armed Forces of the Philippines Task Force TRIDENT during its mass offensive operations against the Abu Sayaff Group (ASG) in the province of Sulu. Throughout its numerous and rigorous operations, the unit has continuously carried out its mission despite of its limited resources and has contributed much to the combined arms concept of the Philippine Marine Corps. It has ensured the maintenance of its combat readiness to deliver timely and accurate massive fire support to the operating Marines during their calls for fire.

THE ASSAULT ARMOR BATTALION
The Assault Armor Battalion (AABN) is the light armor unit of the Philippine Marine Corps assigned under HQS Combat and Service Support Brigade (CSSB). It is tasked to close in and destroy the enemy using light armor protected firepower, shock effect, maneuver and mobile fire support. It is capable of conducting offensive or delaying operations in support of Marine combat troops during amphibious assault and subsequent operations and/or sustained operations ashore. Furthermore, it is capable of limited screen, reconnaissance, and surveillance during advance force operations and/or sustained operations and to conduct security operation either independently or with infantry troops and any task organized forces and provide limited support to logistical tasks for these units. The Assault Amphibian Battalion which was activated in 1974 was redesignated as Assault Armor Battalion on January 1, 2000 pursuant to HPMC GO Nr 23 dated 20 January 2000 in order to upgrade its capabilities and make way for the arrival of the LVT P7 family of amphibious vehicles. It is composed of a Headquarters and Service Company (HSC), and several armor vehicle companies, each designated as a Marine Company with numerical assignment starting with seven (7), common to all Marine line and support companies. These armor vehicle companies are categorized as an Armor Maintenance Company (Armor Mnt Co), an Assault Amphibian Vehicle Company (AAV Co), and Light Armor Vehicle Company (LAV Co). The Armor Mnt. Co is asked to provide intermediate-level armor vehicle maintenance support of armor vehicles, turret/armament, and communications systems by means of periodic preventive maintenance check, component replacement or overhaul/repair. It is capable of providing technical assistance and overflow organizational maintenance for supported units, as well as providing technical inspection services in support of armor vehicle maintenance program of the PMC. The AAV Co on the other hand is tasked to land, transport and project assault troops during amphibious assault operations and sustained combat operations ashore. It is capable of providing surface ship-to-shore lift capabilities during amphibious assault; transport personnel supplies in conjunction with tactical operations; lift battalion-size combat elements in a single lift; and maintain motor vehicles and armor assets organic to the company. Additionally, the LAV Co is tasked to provide protected transport and mobile fire support for combat troops in the conduct of ground operations and in such other sustained operations ashore. It can provide light armored protected transport;

fire support, and maneuver of Marine units in a mechanized mode as spearhead for ground tactical operations. The first armored vehicles utilized by the Marines in the 1950's were the US M-3A1 Armored Scout Cars used by Marine Platoons in support of their operations. The first Armored Amphibious Vehicles were the LVT3C. These were later replaced by the Landing Vehicle Tracked Personnel (LTVP P5) the Landing Vehicle Tracked Howitzer (LTVP H6 armed with the short barrelled 105mm howitzer) and the Engineering version (LVT E5). The LVTH6 were used as fire support vehicles (FSV's) during the early Mindanao campaigns in the 1970's. Later during the 1980's several V-150 Cadillac Gage Commando armored vehicles were provided to the Corps. These were complemented later in 1995 by 24 units V-300 Commando Series of Light Armor Vehicles (LAV's), 12 of which is fitted with the Cockerill 90mm Gun MKIII. It is a 6 x 6 vehicle that can carry 8 fully equipped Marines and a crew of 3 in the Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) version. The Marine light armor vehicles were extensively used during the height of the recent 2000 conflict in Mindanao. Its companies were attached to the different Marine Brigades operating intensively in the area and have significantly contributed much in the neutralization of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Central Mindanao especially during the siege for government control of the Narciso Ramos Highway. Furthermore, the unit was eventually attached to the Armed Forces of the Philippines Task Force TRIDENT during its mass offensive operations against the Abu Sayaff Group (ASG) in the province of Sulu, and was successfully utilized in support of the Marine Battalions operating under the different AFP Task Forces in the past. Throughout its numerous and extensive operations, the unit has constantly carried out its mission despite of its limited resources and has contributed much to the combined arms concept of the Philippine Marine Corps. It has ensured the maintenance of its combat readiness to deliver timely and accurate massive mobile fire support and troop transport to the operating Marines in the field.