Marines’ AAVs return to base after first forward deployment

Photo courtesy of Philippine Marine Corps

The first Philippine Marine Corps Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs) Platoon on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, returned to base after their maiden tour as forward-deployed forces in Palawan as part of the Marine Amphibious Ready Unit (MARU).

Their return was welcomed by Maj. Francel P. Mendoza PN(M) (GSC), Deputy Commander of the Assault Armor Battalion, and Col. Ivan R. Papera PN(M) (GSC), Deputy for Marine Operations, Fleet-Marine Ready Force (GSC).

MARU became an operational unit in March 2021, when Commandant MGen. Ariel R. Caculitan PN(M) declared it so and deployed one Platoon of AAV under Fleet-Marine Ready Force Amphibious Task Group 80.6. The deployment will support unified commands by covering naval operations across the national theater.

The AAVs were transferred from ashore to the Philippine Navy Amphibious Ship (LD601) during the deployment. AAVs were launched ashore on their way back to base, executing tactical evolutions (launching and retrieving operations) in a variety of sea conditions.

The arrival of AAVs, according to Maj. Mendoza, Deputy of the Assault Armor Battalion and Director of the Marine School of Armor, is a great opportunity because personnel currently enrolled in the School of Armor can use them.

Col. Papera, one of the proponents of the PMC acquisition for the AAV project, advises the Assault Armor Battalion to create a maintenance culture to ensure the AAVs are constantly in good condition and the Corps’ ability to be ready at all times.

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