(Photo courtesy of AFP)

MANILA – Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Andres Centino lauded Thursday the Philippine Army's Armor (Pambato) Division for its efforts against local communist and terrorist groups and modernization efforts.

Among the accomplishments of the Capas, Tarlac-based Armor Division was the neutralization of key target personalities, surrender of several Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and the capture of numerous firearms both from communist and local terrorist groups.

The Armor Division also reactivated its 1st Tank Battalion in anticipation of the completion and delivery of more modern armor assets.

“With the development of our modernization program, the Armor Division translated its vision into tangible actions in preparation for its complete transformation or transition into becoming a modern and highly competent Armor Division of the Philippine Army," Centino said in a statement as the unit celebrated its 46th founding anniversary.

The Armor Division's 46th-anniversary theme was “Makabagong Armor sa Pagsulong ng Kapayapaan at Kaunlaran.”

“This year, we will realize our aspiration to become a more modernized, reliable, capable and decisive armor unit, through the delivery of the state-of-the-art armored assets that will increase our capability against both local and external threats," Armor Division commander Maj. Gen. Efren Baluyot said.

Some of the major equipment acquired for the Armor Division included15 M125A2 armored mortar carriers (AMCs), which are equipped with 120mm mounted mortar systems (MMS) and acquired from Israeli defense company Elbit Systems.

The AMCs were also delivered to the PA last December and are also part of Horizon Two of the AFP Modernization Program and acquired under the Army's mounted mortar acquisition project.

These AMCs will capacitate the country's land force's credible defense posture from various threats. (PNA)