Israeli defense team to train Philippines soldiers in counterterror

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Israeli defense team to train Philippines soldiers in counterterror

Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) – June 19, 2019 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A team of Israeli anti-terrorism experts is in the country to train Filipino troops on counterterrorism operations, the Philippine Army said yesterday.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said troops from the Israel Defense Force (IDF) would conduct Counter-Terrorism Trainers’ Training (CTTT) from June 26 to July 4.

The IDF delegation led by Brig. Gen. Dan Goldfus has coordinated with Army chief Lt. Gen. Alberto Macairog for the conduct of training to share and experience operations against terrorists, Zagala said.

Israel has been dealing with terrorist attacks almost daily while the Philippines has had its share of the problem, particularly in Southern Mindanao.

“The CTTT is the first training collaboration between the Philippine Army and the IDF to be held in the Philippines. The training aims to enhance the counterterrorism efforts of our own soldiers. It also aims to improve operational and instructional skills of the Philippine Army Training Schools in anti-terrorism and combat techniques,” Zagala said.

Goldfus said his team is also looking forward to learn from their Filipino counterparts from their experience in dealing with terrorists in Marawi City.

He said the main challenge in addressing terrorism is to predict what the enemy will do next, thus the need for constant threat monitoring.

Selected members from the Army’s elite fighting units – the Scout Rangers, Special Forces, Light Reaction Regiments and those from the 2nd Infantry Division, 5th Infantry Division, 7th Infantry Division, 9th Infantry Division – will be learning new anti-terror and combat skills from the 10-man IDF anti-terror experts team.

Zagala said the Army sees the collaboration with other armies in addressing terrorism as necessary after its experience during the Marawi siege in 2017. 

He stressed terrorism is a complex threat that requires international cooperation and the continuous exchange of knowledge and information.