The Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) received six U.S. Small Unit Riverine Crafts (SURC) to aid the 1,200-member PMC force in counter terrorism operations, according to a Wednesday announcement from the service.
“These water assets will be essential in maintaining maritime security and ascertain peace and order in our communities especially in littoral and riverine environment”, Philippine Navy head Vice Adm. Jose Luis M Alano said in the statement.
“The SURCs will be deployed to augment our sea-based forces to address terrorism and lawlessness such as the current crisis in Mindanao”
For the last three weeks, Philippine forces have fought Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Muslim guerrillas near the port city of Zamboanga on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, according to local press reports.
The donated SURCs will be use exclusively by the PMC to “ also to provide platform for command and control, reconnaissance, logistic/resupply, medical evacuation, counter-drug operations, humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping and non-combatant evacuation operations,” according to the statement.