Slain Marines undergoing force reconnaissance training – PN chief

May 27, 2013 11:58 pm 

MANILA, May 27 — The seven Marines killed while engaging the Abu Sayyaf Group in Patikul, Sulu Saturday were conducting force reconnaissance training when they encountered the terrorists, Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano said Monday.

The Navy has operational control of the Philippine Marine Corps.

"(The ambushed Marines) already have field experience and this (force reconnaissance training) aims to improve their skills further," he stated.

The PN chief added the Marines were doing route security preparations, a maneuver done to ensure that the main or follow-up forces are not ambushed by enemies, when they encountered the ASG men.

"The incident happened actually within or near the vicinity of their main maneuvering base and what happened was a so-called meeting encounter," Alano pointed out.

The PN chief added that they already have sent an investigation team in Sulu to look into the exact reasons behind the event.

"(This is to) make sure that we would be able to correct and improve our doctrines as far as conducting our operations," Alano pointed out.

The encounter transpired 6: 30 a.m. Saturday.

Marines from Force Recon Class 18 were conducting tracking operations when they encountered the ASG men in the vicinity.

Seven of the Marines were killed, including an officer while nine of their fellows were wounded in the hour-long firefight.

Seven ASG men were slain in this encounter while another 15 of the brigands were wounded in the fight.

The Marines were conducting search-and-rescue operations for 41-year-old medical technologist Casilda Villarasa who was abducted by the brigands last May 18.

The latter is married to one of the active duty Marine sergeants. (PNA)



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