Author Topic: Light Reaction Company  (Read 3368 times)

troung

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Light Reaction Company
« on: January 27, 2005, 04:57:39 PM »
Ok a few questions on the unit if no one minds...

Who is under control of the unit? In other words are the attached to a large unit such as the Special Forces or Scout Rangers or have they become a seperate unit? I have read that many members have come from the SRs.

How large is the unit now? How many companies have been formed and how many guys are in them?

Other then the M-1911, M-4/M-4A1 and M-24 do they carry any other types of weapons such as the M-14 or M-249?

Any idea on organization and squad/platoon/company level personal equipment and support weapons?

Anonymous

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Light Reaction Company
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2005, 08:41:08 PM »
calling joma season!  please comment!

Wushu*

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Light Reaction Company
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2005, 10:07:09 PM »
as far as I know, members of the LRC is culled from the top performers of the army and marines.

they have been trained and equipped by the US, so their gear and weapons are all US-made. they are also the most modernized combat infantry unit that we have.

i think they are assigned two simbas, if i remember correctly.

as for troop transport, they "borrow" air force assets. ideally, a unit such as this should have their own air assets, kasi iba ang training at tactics ng mga piloto sa ganito. oh well.....

as for total numbers and coy readiness, they keep this under wraps mainly because the LRC is also an anti-coup unit.

hope this meager (and probably outdated) info helps  :wink:

548967

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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2005, 10:21:52 PM »

edwin

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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2005, 02:28:58 AM »
Quote from: Wushu*
as far as I know, members of the LRC is culled from the top performers of the army and marines.

they have been trained and equipped by the US, so their gear and weapons are all US-made. they are also the most modernized combat infantry unit that we have.

i think they are assigned two simbas, if i remember correctly.

as for troop transport, they "borrow" air force assets. ideally, a unit such as this should have their own air assets, kasi iba ang training at tactics ng mga piloto sa ganito. oh well.....

as for total numbers and coy readiness, they keep this under wraps mainly because the LRC is also an anti-coup unit.

hope this meager (and probably outdated) info helps  :wink:


 If LRC come form the top performer of Army and Marines, then Lrc is under form what branches of AFP?? Sa Army ba or Sa Navy?? Asking lang. Peace to all.

____________
 It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and reality of tomorrow.

Anonymous

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Light Reaction Company
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2005, 02:45:23 AM »
Quote from: edwin
Quote from: Wushu*
as far as I know, members of the LRC is culled from the top performers of the army and marines.

they have been trained and equipped by the US, so their gear and weapons are all US-made. they are also the most modernized combat infantry unit that we have.

i think they are assigned two simbas, if i remember correctly.

as for troop transport, they "borrow" air force assets. ideally, a unit such as this should have their own air assets, kasi iba ang training at tactics ng mga piloto sa ganito. oh well.....

as for total numbers and coy readiness, they keep this under wraps mainly because the LRC is also an anti-coup unit.

hope this meager (and probably outdated) info helps  :wink:


 If LRC come form the top performer of Army and Marines, then Lrc is under form what branches of AFP?? Sa Army ba or Sa Navy?? Asking lang. Peace to all.

Office of the President?

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 It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and reality of tomorrow.

Coup langot

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Light Reaction Company
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2005, 08:19:54 AM »
The more important question to ask is who are they loyal to?

Anonymous

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Light Reaction Company
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2005, 07:22:08 PM »
LRC has 3 companies.

pasista daw ako

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Light Reaction Company
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2005, 07:46:36 PM »
http://www.inq7.net/nwsbrk/2002/jun/25/nbk_5-1.htm


 Training days
By Glenda M. Gloria
Newsbreak Associate editor

Along with the elite Special Forces of the US Army, they trained for a year in the tough jungles of Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija and the treacherous terrain of Basilan.

In Basilan, they stand out—armed with sleek guns and powerful stun grenades, backed up by night-flying helicopters, and equipped with night-vision scopes and goggles, gas masks, bulletproof vests, and awesome radio equipment. The US government released 1.8 million dollars for the first phase of their training in Nueva Ecija from March to June last year.

What’s more, the 120 young, combat-tested soldiers of the Light Reaction Company (LRC) were recruited from the Philippine Army’s two crack fighting units, the Scout Rangers and the Special Forces.

Rescue wrist

But last June 7, in the final phase of the rescue effort for the Burnham couple and Ediborah Yap in Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte, it was the 15th Scout Ranger Company, not the LRC, that first spotted the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) holding the hostages. The Rangers moved in and fired, and the LRC returned to barracks empty-handed, understandably frustrated that they missed their chance to show what they had.

Some reporters for US news agencies had, in fact, initially assumed that it was the LRC that took part in the rescue effort.

One of the LRC’s American trainers had anticipated this battlefield scenario.

When Newsbreak visited the LRC’s first training in Nueva Ecija in June last year, the head trainer—a US Army captain—noted that in the US, their counter-terrorist units are effective because they get their orders directly from the top of the military’s chain of command. "There are no middlemen," said the American officer. "I don’t know if that could be applied here."

In the last six months in Basilan, American troops training Filipino soldiers realized that some plans just could not be applied on the ground, especially when the prime objective of the exercises is not muscle-flexing but the rescue of hostages from a wily, mobile, and heavily armed gang like the ASG.

The visitors, however, introduced new ways of doing things that Filipino soldiers welcomed with gusto.

"We learned a lot from them…how they plan [an operation], for example. They’re very meticulous, they have very high standards," an Army battalion commander in Basilan tells Newsbreak. An Army brigade commander previously assigned to the island-province concedes that planning is the Philippine military’s biggest weakness. [All officers interviewed by Newsbreak spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not allowed by their commanders to talk to the press about sensitive details of their training.-Ed]

The Americans plan all their moves down to the minutest detail, the Basilan-based officer notes. Thus, when they were asked to fly one of their Pave Hawk choppers to Sirawai to fetch the wounded Gracia Burnham, they took time to plan the flight because the area was largely uncharted terrain for them. The Philippine military’s Southern Command went ahead with its Huey helicopter, which arrived much earlier and got Gracia Burnham off the encounter site.

Culture shock

The US also flooded Basilan with resources never before seen by Filipino troops—from an endless supply of bottled water to about a hundred trucks jamming the rough roads of the island to thousands of boxes of ammunition. It was a culture shock to the underpaid, ill-equipped Filipino soldiers used to rationed supplies in the battlefield. For them, such kind of support is simply awesome, so it’s no surprise why most of them want the training extended.

The training is as rigorous as the supplies are ample. During firing exercises, it’s a shoot-till-you-drop situation. "Sasakit talaga ang kamay mo sa kakaputok--hanggang magsawa ka (Your hands grew numb from the firing exercises)," an Army captain says.

On meeting Filipino intelligence agents in Basilan, American operatives gave their counterparts cellular phones and advised them to use these instead of their antiquated radios, recalls another source. The agents also got a daily supply of 500 pesos worth of prepaid cell cards from the Americans.

Filipino agents used to work on a tight budget in dealing with informants. Whenever an informant was sent to a remote town in Basilan, for instance, it usually took him several days to go there and return to his principals. When the Americans arrived, it became easy to shell out 3,000 pesos to rent a banca for the informant to hasten his journey, the source says. "These things facilitate our operations."

New tricks for visitors

Still, in the jungles of Basilan, it’s the Americans’ turn to learn new tricks from their battle-scarred counterparts.

For example, the expertise of American trainers of the LRC is in urban combat and sniping. An LRC member admits his American counterparts are not used to jungle warfare. From Filipino troops, he says, the Americans learned "how to move quietly in the jungle, how to spot tracks on the mountains, how to smell danger."

The source relates to Newsbreak his funniest recollection of his American trainers when the latter first set foot on Basilan Island last January. "They carried too many things with them, so ang bigat nila. They had seven pairs of socks to last them a week, which means they changed socks every day. We only have two pairs of socks in combat or training….nilalagyan na lang namin ng Vaseline oil yung paa namin (We just apply Vaseline oil on our feet). So the Americans ended up bringing two socks also." This anecdote is comic relief for what the LRC members say has been tough training that boosted their confidence.

Conceptualized by American and Philippine military officers at the height of the Sipadan hostage drama in 2000, the LRC was trained by the US to become the first US-trained counter-terror unit against the Abu Sayyaf, which the US put on its terror blacklist after the September 11 attacks.

No longer trainers

But in their first months in Basilan early this year, members of the LRC went through mostly urban combat training such as close-quarter combat, which is ideal for any force dealing with terrorists who have hostages in buildings or who have been cornered. The jungle, however, offers different challenges.

Thus, the two sides swapped experiences, with Filipino troops teaching their American counterparts survival skills in the jungle. In the process, the trainer-trainee relationship ceased, and they ended up treating each other as equals.

Basilan, for instance, is home to Abu Sayyaf members who know how to follow its trails by heart, perhaps even with eyes closed. In contrast, Filipino troops come and go, and by the time they begin to master the province’s jungles, they are moved to other assignments. The Americans realized this during the training.

"Parang nasa palad lang nila ang mapa ng bundok ng Basilan (The map of Basilan’s mountains seems to have been etched on their palms)," an Army lieutenant says of the ASG. He says the ASG can cross the mountains of Maluso to Isabela in a day—a distance of about 25 kilometers but the rugged terrain makes it a tough walk—whereas Filipino troops newly assigned to the province can negotiate the distance in seven or even 10 days. After months of training, the LRC can now also cross the distance in a day by following the ASG trail.

Limits of technology

For the rest of the infantry troops of the Philippine military in Basilan, their training exercises consisted of life-saving techniques in combat, marksmanship, planning, and integrating equipment with battle tactics.

Countless nights were also spent on so-called "insertions," where US helicopters land Filipino and American troops in the mountains in the thick of the night, when they attack an imaginary enemy.

American troops brought to Basilan high-tech planes, weapons, and communications equipment that were used by Filipino soldiers. "Their equipment was simply awesome…we learned to handle all sorts of high-tech items," says an Army colonel.

Yet in Basilan, the Americans came face to face with the limitations of their technology and doctrine.

Before the Burnhams were finally spotted in Zamboanga del Norte, US spy planes flew over Basilan day and night without rest, hoping to spot the ASG. Four things worked against their technology: the province’s thick foliage, the weather, a highly mobile target, and equipment that cannot think.

At times, the US spy planes caught images that appeared to be Abu Sayyaf camps. American soldiers advised Filipino soldiers on the location of the suspected ASG camps, only to discover later that these were just a cluster of huts in a mountainous barangay. It turned out there was cooking in the huts. Spy planes are sensitive to heat.

Thus, a basic lesson for the Americans: spy planes have to be aided by human intelligence on the ground.

Combat patrols

Since January, more than 600 American troops, including 160 of the elite US Special Forces, have been training 5,000 Filipino soldiers in Zamboanga City and Basilan. Part of the US’s global campaign against terrorism, the joint exercises are set to end July 31, unless government approves an American request for an extension.

Dubbed Balikatan 02-1, the exercises were supposed to have two phases. The first phase was purely advisory at the battalion level, while the second entailed the deployment of US troops to the company level, where they could join Filipino soldiers in full-blown combat patrols. Companies, ideally numbering 120 soldiers, are the usual combat formation in the battlefield.

For some reason, the second phase failed to take off.

US Defense Undersecretary Paul Wolfowitz, who made a whistle stop visit to Basilan last June 3, reiterated the Americans’ wish for the training to reach the company level. American officials here could not fully explain why they did not push for this earlier. The terms of reference signed by both countries after the launching of the exercises already include the second phase.

Money and politics

One reason could be American politics. Democrats in Washington have been raising questions about what exactly American troops are doing in Basilan. The cost of the training, after all, is being shouldered by the American taxpayer, and combat patrols make US troops vulnerable to enemy fire.

Or, the US could have been waiting for the right time to deploy their troops to the combat zones—when they would have positively identified the location of the Burnhams. Thus, Wolfowitz’s statement, which came after US and Philippine intelligence tracked down the Burnhams in Zamboanga del Norte.

Along with the exercises is a US pledge to donate equipment to the military. The Americans have committed 50 million dollars in military assistance for this year and 2003.

So far, the US has sent only five Huey helicopters and one old C-30 cargo plane, according to the defense department. By October, the US is expected to deliver a cyclone class patrol vessel and several trucks. Three more Hueys and 30,000 Armalites are due by the end of the year.

"We want them to stay here because we want their equipment," says a senior defense official. And that’s probably the crux of the matter.

Send us your feedback: letters@newsbreak.com.ph
      

Wild Weasel

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Light Reaction Company
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2005, 06:42:54 PM »
Quote from: edwin


 If LRC come form the top performer of Army and Marines, then Lrc is under form what branches of AFP?? Sa Army ba or Sa Navy?? Asking lang. Peace to all.

____________
 It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and reality of tomorrow.


The LRC is a composite unit. Most members come from the Army Rangers, Army Special Forces, Navy SWAG, and Air Force Special Ops Wing. It is under the Special Operations Command (SOCOM), same with Rangers, Special Forces, SWAG, and AF SpecOps.

Some LRC members joined the Oakwood mutiny together with some Rangers, SF, Marines, and SWAG.
“You want me to fly in the back of a little tiny fighter aircraft with a crazy fighter pilot who thinks he’s invincible, home in on a SAM site in North Vietnam, and shoot it before it shoots me, you gotta be ****tin me!” - EWO Captain Jack Donovan, 1965

Anonymous

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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2005, 07:11:16 PM »
join din ba sila sa oakwood?

...di pala secure na anti-coup unit  :lol:

Wushu*

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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2005, 09:33:19 PM »
wild weasel, i stand corrected, NAVY SWAG pala, hindi Marines.... sumali din pala sila sa oakwood hehehehehe


pasista daw ako

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Light Reaction Company
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2005, 12:28:20 AM »

pasista daw ako

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« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2005, 12:31:31 AM »
sniff buhuhuhuh.... buti pa sila they have Blackhawk assault packs.