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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, September 10, 2016
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SAF to beef up troops

The elite Special Action Force unit of the Philippine National Police in Negros Island Region will soon get more troopers, Chief Supt. Benjamen Lusad, acting SAF director, said yesterday during the installation of Chief Inspector Jerome Jay Ragonton as the new acting commander of the 6th SAF Battalion.

The 6th SAB is now conducting a six-month Commando Course training for newly-recruited SAF troopers in Sagay City..

Lusad said they are recruiting 2,400 qualified SAF applicants.

This forms part of his thrust to re-organize the SAF by further strengthening its specialized DEER (Deep Reconnaisance Company) and sniper units, by having cross-training with the elite Army's Scout Ranger unit.

With the indefinite ceasefire declared with the communist New People's Army, the PNP SAF troopers are being eyed to assist the local PNP in the war against drugs in the Negros Island Region.

Yesterday, Lusad commended Supt. Marlu Conag, who was replaced by Ragonton as 6th SAB commander, for a job well done.

Conag, who was assigned as deputy commander and later as battalion commander of 6th SAB, was conferred yesterday with the Medalya ng Kasanayan by Lusad, in recognition of his leadership.

Lusad also acknowledged the help of local government units, including Sagay City and the provincial government of Negros Occidental, as well as individuals, who have made the job easier for the 6th SAB.

Before leaving Negros Occidental, Lusad also visited the “tent city” in Sagay City, where neophyte SAF troopers undergoing the Commando Course training, which the subjects include combat skills, weapons efficiency, jungle moutaineering and navigation techniques to communications, air to ground support, markmanship, among others.

The SAF is the counter-terrorism unit of the PNP, whose members are trained in both law enforcement and military operations.

Unfortunately, 44 of them died in what some describe as controversial Mamasapano incident in Maguindanao, two years ago.*GPB

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