MANILA -- Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Carlito Galvez. Jr. vowed to extend all possible support to the Naval Special Operation Group (NAVSOG) as parts of efforts to achieve peace.

“Rest assured that the AFP leadership will continue to support the NAVSOG and all units of the AFP as we work together to win the peace, preserve our way of life, and secure our country’s future,” Galvez said in his speech during the 62nd founding anniversary of NAVSOG on Tuesday.

The event took place at NAVSOG headquarters at Naval Base Cavite, Sangley Point, Cavite City.

The unit is considered one of the elite fighting forces of the AFP. Prior to the activity, arrival honors were accorded to the AFP chief followed by his conferment of Honorary SEAL Rites.

Historically, the NAVSOG traces its origin from the former Philippine Underwater Operations Team that was first established on Nov. 5, 1956 and pattered after the US UOT.

The team was composed of one officer and six enlisted personnel. The pioneer members of the team were called "frogmen" as they can operate in both land and water.

After years of improvement, UOT expanded its scope and core competencies, which includes all facets of special operations and unconventional warfare capabilities presently known as Naval Special Operations Group.

“Whether in the sea, air, and land (SEAL), the nation and our countrymen can very much depend on the mighty Navy SEALS in protecting the people and securing the State. To be welcomed as a member of such a vaunted force is indeed an honor, and I am privileged to join the ranks of honorary members of much distinction such as former DND Secretary Gilberto Teodoro and former AFP Chiefs of Staff Generals Alexander Yano, Ricardo David Jr., Emmanuel Bautista, and Rey Leonardo Guerrero,” Galvez said.

As one of the primary forces of the Philippine Navy and a vital component of the AFP’s Special Operations Force, NAVSOG performs varied and crucial roles in the realm of special operations, which include direct action missions, demolition raids, target assault, maritime sniper operations, gas and oil platform recovery and high risk visit board search-and-seizure operations.

“For the past years, these expertise and experience were instrumental in winning against our enemies, particularly in the series of operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group in different areas of the country,” the AFP chief added. (PNA)