FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija – The Army Artillery Regiment (AAR), Philippine Army, based in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija, formally sent-off troops from the newly-activated 8th Field Artillery Battalion (8FAB) to provide general support to the government troops operating in the provinces of Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi in a simple ceremony last November 23, 2014.
Brigadier General Leandro A Loyao III, Regiment Commander of AAR, designated Lt Colonel Jeffrey Cabansay as the Battalion Commander of 8FAB. Lt Col Cabansay is a seasoned and well-decorated Artillery Officer responsible in the successful artillery fire support missions supporting the government troops during the height of conflict in Central Mindanao, particularly in the areas of Carmen, Cotabato; Rajamuda, Pikit and Nabalawag in Midsayap; Camp Omar in Talayan, Maguindanao; Narciso Ramos Highway, Camp Abubakar and Buliok Complex in Pikit.
“As our military leadership puts their trust and confidence to the Army Artillery, I also put my trust on you, Jeff and your men, because it takes not only skills but also the experience to help our infantrymen on the ground as they fight in order to secure the civilian communities and eventually win the peace”, said Brigadier General Loyao during the send-off ceremony.
Loyao emphasized to continually train and enhance the skills of each artillery personnel, “Your mission there is very critical and any miscalculated action is unaccepted.”
He likewise reminded them to always uphold their dignity as soldiers, maintain their discipline and always give utmost respect to the people and its culture in the area.
The troops boarded the military vehicle immediately after the ceremony for their departure to Zamboanga City the following day via C130 aircraft.
Meanwhile, the 8FAB was officially activated on October 16, 2014 by the Philippine Army as a provisional 105mm artillery battalion in order to provide command and control over the three batteries currently deployed in Basilan and Sulu Provinces, previously under 7th Field Artillery (155mm) Battalion.
AAR recently culminated the pre-entry training of 98 candidate soldiers crossed trained with Field Artillery Operation Orientation Training last week. These new breed of soldiers will also be deployed to Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi anytime.
(Press Release and Photos from AAR, PIO)