WITH the Armed Forces of the Philippines aim to improve and upgrade its arms cache, the 4th Infantry Division has received a new set of equipment paving the way for the military’s modernization program.
Assistant Division Commander Brigadier General Paul Atal said the AFP has long been using the 5.56mm M16 rifle including the initial units from the United States military 'excess stocks' way back in the Vietnam War.
Atal said the AFP previously received M16 and M16A1 variants from the US government including the last batch of 30,000 M16A1 from former President Gloria Macapal Arroyo’s administration.
He added that the AFP also uses Colt’s CAR 15 carbine and M4 carbine which also came from the US government.
“And now finally after a long wait, the American arms manufacturer awarded a supply to contract us new firearms,” Atal said.
The Remington Arms Company LCC awarded a contract to supply 50, 629 units of assault rifles based on the popular M4 carbine with spare parts, training support and accessories among others to the AFP.
The 4ID received about 2,819 carbine 5.56mm and about 200 Harris radio.
With the new equipment, Atal said the 4ID is now closer to a ‘World-Class Army’ vision leading the soldiers to a better, more responsible and professional peacekeepers.
“We remain in our vision that we should be respected by our neighbors, source of national progress and key players in national and international peace arrangements,” Atal added.
Captain Jo Patrick Martinez, 4ID spokesperson said the new equipment would help boost the soldiers’ confidence in peace efforts.
“We have the no question sa atong training, but ang problema is ang atong equipments dili mo-level sa atong training, usahay mabulabog atong operations kay mag-jam ang atong firearms and the likes,” Martinez said.
Martinez noted that the new Harris radio is now capable of wifi connection and it is computer accessible.
“Maka-connect sa computer, sa wifi, compared sa daan nga radio na saba, mas gaan pud siya, and mas gamay na handheld, so much more convenient.
The handover ceremony was graced by Representative Arlene Bag-ao of the province of Dinagat Islands.