With glistening turquoise water and stretches of stunning coastline, the southern region of the Philippines is one of the most beautiful places in the world. However, the threat of kidnapping and acts of violence linked to long-running insurgency and terrorism plague the south. Last year, the battle of Marawi City drew increased international attention to the region, and brought multiple Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) units south to assist in the fight against the Islamic State in the Philippines. Scout Rangers and Filipino Special Forces were the first elite units deployed to combat the Islamic State-inspired groups, Maute Group and Abu Sayyaf Group. The Rangers suffered many casualties, but ultimately emerged victorious in the longest urban battle in the modern history of the Philippines.
After the fighting, AFP assessed that 165 Philippine soldiers, 970 terrorists, and 47 civilians were killed, and more than 1,400 AFP were wounded in action. The battle for Marawi depleted the medical supplies of the Filipino units involved and reinforced the importance of advanced medical training and individual first aid kits (IFAKs). While the Marawi battle is over, the AFP continue to engage Islamic extremist fighters in the south and the AFP still requires medical supplies.
To enhance the efforts of their partners, US forces working in the area are conducting Tactical Combat Casualty Care courses for members of the Philippine National Police, AFP, and Philippine Special Forces units that continue to fight against extremist groups. However, the AFP still needs IFAKs, which are critical to any soldier engaged in combat.
With your generous support, SoA-provided IFAKs will ensure the AFP has the right tools needed to treat casualties on the battlefield. This project will help reinforce the enduring partnership between the US and the Philippines as the fight against violent extremism continues. Give today to equip our partners with lifesaving equipment and help bring an end to this deadly conflict.