8 truck-mounted howitzers boost military might in south

By Noralyn A. Macabalang

ARRIVAL OF ATMOS 2000 HOWITZERS: Field military officials huddle at the foreground of eight ATMOS 2000 howitzers displayed at the 7FAB grounds of Camp Lucero, Barangay Nasapian, Carmen, North Cotabato on October 1. (6ID supplied photo))

CARMEN, North Cotabato – The 6th Infantry Division (6ID) has acquired eight truck-mounted howitzers it described as a big boost to military might in fighting terror-prone state enemies in Central and South-Central Mindanao.

In a statement sent to the Philippine Muslim Today (PMT) news, the 6ID announced the arrival of self-propelling 155mm Autonomous Truck Mounted Howitzer Systems (ATMOS 2000) at the 7th Field Artillery Battalion (7FAB) at Camp Lucero, Barangay Nasapian here on September 29.

The eight brand new ATMOS 2000 units were shipped from Metro Manila through the Makar Port in General Santos City, the 6ID statement said.

On October 1, Major Gen. Roy Galido, 6ID and Task Force Central commander, inspected the combat assets at the 7FAB grounds upon presentation by concerned field military officials.

The field officials included Colonel Francis Anthony M. Coronel, head of the Army Artillery Regiment; Lt. Colonel Raquel Vilchez, 7FAB commander; Lt. Col. Chamberlain Esmino, 10FAB head; and Brig. Gen. Jovencio Gonzales, 602nd Infantry (Liberator) Brigade commander, the statement said.

“Because of these new assets, we will further strengthen our ability to suppress terrorism and insurgency in Central and South-Central Mindanao, and (be) able to defeat the state’s enemies (and) prevent them from sowing violence,” MGen. Galido said in a brief message.

Gen. Galido took the opportunity to urge lawless and extremist groups to return to the folds of the law, end stance in sowing violence, and live peaceful and productive life, according to the statement.

Military units under the 6ID supervision described the ATMOS equipment as “game changer” assets highly expected to make the difference in combating terrorism and insurgency.

The Philippine Army acquired 12 ATMOS 2000 units to modernize its combat assets, eight of which were deployed for Central and South-Central Mindanao, the 6ID said.

The war assets were reportedly purchased from Israel by the Duterte administration and have since been deemed as the “biggest guns” in the Philippine Army circle. (NAM)

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