Army conducts counter terrorism simulation drill

Mar. 09, 2017

The Joint Task Force Haribon conducts a simulation drill at the Sta. Ana Wharf in Davao City on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. (Paulo C. Rizal/

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — All three components, ground, air, and navy demonstrated their readiness to react in emergency situations in a counter terrorism combat simulation activity held by the Joint Task Force Haribon inside the Task Force Davao headquarters in Sta. Ana Wharf here, on Wednesday, Mar. 8.

JTF Haribon commander Brig. Gen. Gilbert Gapay said the activity’s purpose was to show the interoperability and collaboration of the three components of the anti-terrorist group, as well as demonstrate the readiness of their unit to address any terrorist threat.

In the simulation, the three units reacted to a scenario wherein a terrorist group coming from the surrounding waters aboard a water vessel attempts to link up with their comrades already inside the city. In this situation, the navy and the air force showed how they would neutralize a waterborne threat.

The situation then progressed into a hostage taking scenario wherein the ground components demonstrated their capabilities in tactical formations, hand-to-hand combat, and even in the use of explosive armaments.

Assessing the results of the simulation, Public Safety and Security Command Center Chief Benito De Leon said he felt confidence about the group’s readiness to secure the city in the face of terrorist threats.

“Assessing the demonstration displayed by JTF Haribon this morning, gives me confidence that Davao City is very much well secure for threats that are perpetrated by terrorist groups particularly launched from the sea,” De Leon said.

De Leon said the three units showed their interoperability and collaboration of the three units in taking down terrorist threats, which he said was a first time in terms of simulations.

“We are very thankful for the effort of the Joint Task Force Haribon,” De Leon said.

Meanwhile, despite being generally happy about the results, Gapay noted the glitches with their communications devices. Gapay said they will be looking into enhancing their radio communications to “enhance interoperability.”

“‘Yun ang kagandahan dito sa simulation exercises, nakikita rin natin yung medyo kailangan pa nating iimprove” (The good thing with these simulation exercises, is we can see which areas we still need to improve), Gapay said.

Gapay also announced that another simulation, which will take place inside the city, is already in the works.

“This is a continuing scenario. Ang sequel naman nito is may mga nakatakas, in land. So next time we will see a scenario, habulan. We will track down elements who were able to escape the assault dito sa city proper. So it will test ‘yung checkpoints natin”

(This is a continuing scenario. In the sequel, some elements were able to escape in land. The next scenario we’ll see is the chase down. We will track down elements who were able to escape the assault to the city proper. It will test our checkpoints), Gapay said.

The next simulation will also include the integration of the police, as well as the PSSCC through the use of their close circuit television cameras in dealing with the threat, Gapay added. (

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