FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City – The celebration of the 78th Founding Anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) kicks off with the AFP Thanksgiving Day at the General Headquarters Canopy in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, today, December 19.
Highlighting the day’s event is the Static Display which showcases the capabilities and new acquisitions of the major services units of the AFP – Philippine Army, Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force.
Part of the Static Display of the Philippine Army is the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), GARMIN Global Positioning System (GPS), and the 100mm Mortar.
The Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) provides real time imagery intelligence and video feed from a particular area with a range of 3km to 7km and can extend up to 50 km. It complements the existing Human Intelligence (HUMINT)/Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) capability of the Army which is used in surveillance operations and also in humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR).
The UAS had been instrumental in the successful conduct of operations against the rogue MNLF rebels in Zamboanga City last September that led to the surrender and arrest of several MNLF fighters under Nur Misuari.
The Garmin GPS and the 100 mm mortar were also among the essential acquisition of the Philippine Army that is useful in the conduct of the Army’s missions.
A Photo Exhibit was also set up at the AFP Commissioned Officers’ Club showing the Army soldiers in action. Photos displayed include the combat operations in Zamboanga City; and the HADR operations in Central Luzon during typhoon Santi, in Bohol following the 7.2-magnitude earthquake, and in the Visayas region after the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda.
Each of the major services had also put up booths wherein demo videos are shown, and informational materials such as flyers are distributed.
The day started with an Interfaith Prayer followed by the Blessing of Navy helicopters; recognition of stakeholders, and a song rendition by OPM artists.
With this year’s anniversary theme, “Tagumpay Noon, Bayanihan Ngayon, Karangalan Nating Lahat Bukas”, the AFP has lined up several activities to commemorate its 78th Founding Anniversary.
On December 20, a simultaneous Flag Raising Ceremony at about 7:30 a.m. will be conducted in all AFP units nationwide. The Anniversary celebration shall also be highlighted by the awarding of medals to combat heroes as well as those who were involved in the disaster response efforts of the AFP. This will be led by President Benigno S Aquino III himself at the GHQ Grandstand. He will also deliver his anniversary message to the troops and the Filipino people as well.