New Command scenario: Op Linkod Timog I

September 11, 2013 · Posted in Command 

by Juramentado

Date: 2013

Location: Western Philippine Sea

The Philippines has been fighting internal insurgencies since before the Second World War. In present day times, the Global War on Terror has focused on a section of the island nation called the Sulawesi Sea Triangle.  It describes three primary routes (ratlines) to and from the Southern Philippines to it’s neighbors to the South (Indonesia) and SouthWest (Malaysia) used by militant groups such as Al-Queda in the Phlippines (AQIP) and Jemaah Islamiya (JI) to funnel fighters, money and weapons to wherever they are needed in the region.

One ratline runs from Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines and traces down the island chain of Sulu, and makes landfall in the Malaysian peninsula of Sabah. Since 2001, the United States has assisted the Republic of the Phlippines in building strong relations with the impoverished and isolated inhabitants of this chain. One of the most successful operations has been to provide medical missions under the campaign name Lingkod Timog (Serving the South), as many of the villages have no permanent doctors or convenient access to healthcare. In so doing, the goodwill of the Lingkod Timog teams translates to better relations with the government, and a natural resistance to the insurgent forces, who tend to come in and forcibly take what they want without regard to the local populace.

The medical missions have been such a success that AQIP and JI elements have resorted to piracy tactics to re-invigorate their influence in the area. Op Lingkod Timog I will feature a joint US-RP mission to deliver a turn-key field hospital to the southern end of the Sulu archiapelago and establish a permanent foothold in the area. Because of sequestration and constitutional limits, US forces can only provide non-lethal aid. It will be up to the Armed Forces of the Philippines to safeguard and deliver the mission package and personnel.


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