MANILA – The so-called Scout Boat has been turned over to the Philippine Army, an added boost to the military’s capability to counter terrorism threats and to conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations.
The boat was officially turned over Tuesday to Special Forces Regiment (Airborne) commander Brig. Gen. Lincoln Francisco Tagle by Army chief-of-staff Maj. Gen. Rowen Tolentino at the Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City.
“Our pursuit for modernization will ensure that the Army is capable of facing various threats in the security environment and when we perform our non-traditional military roles during disasters. We aim that through modernizing our command capabilities, the Philippine Army can better serve the people and protect the nation from whatever challenges there may be,” Army chief Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay said in a statement.
The new Scout Boat is expected to boost the special forces regiment’s counter-terrorism and HADR capabilities, especially in priority areas in Mindanao.
Army spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala said Wednesday the boat can carry at least eight troopers in full battle gear and has a maximum speed of 25 knots.
He added that the project is under the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization program and about 51 units more are set to be procured.
The Scout Boat is manufactured by Stoneworks Specialist International Corporation in General Trias, Cavite. Acquisition of the boats was through public bidding, he added.
Zagala said there is no exact timeline yet on the delivery of the rest of the units. (PNA)