US turns over rifles, counterterrorism equipment to Marines

MANILA, Philippines — The Joint United States Military Assistance Group on Monday transferred military equipment to the Philippine Marine Corps to upgrade its counterterrorism capabilities.

According to a release from the US Embassy, delivery of the equipment under the US government’s Counterterrorism Train and Equip Program began in May. 
Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Salamat, commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps, formally received the equipment at a ceremony at the Marines headquarters in Taguig City on Monday.
The equipment, which the US Embassy said “will enhance the PMC’s counterterrorism capabilities, and help protect Philippine Marines actively engaged in counterterrorism operations in the southern Philippines,” consists of:
  • 300 M4 carbines
  • 200 Glock 21 pistols
  • Four M134D Gatling-style machine guns
  • 100 M203 grenade launchers 
These were delivered to Clark Air Base in Pampanga on May 18-22.
JUSMAG also delivered 25 new Combat Rubber Raiding Craft to the Marines on May 30.
“The PMC’s Inshore Boat Battalion and Marine Special Operations Group have already employed previous U.S. Counterterrorism Train and Equip gear in ongoing combat operations in the southern Philippines,” the embassy said.
The latest batch is part of P7.3 billion worth of weapons and equipment that JUSMAG has delivered and programmed for the Armed Forces of the Philippines since 2007, the embassy said.
“Over the last five years, the US government has allocated P15 billion of grant funding to provide the AFP with equipment, including corresponding upgrades and training,” it said, adding the equipment transfers as well as joint training and exercises “demonstrate the commitment of the United States to work with the Philippines towards building safer communities and eradicating global terror networks.”

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