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AFP chief to soldiers: Treat new rifle as your wife

Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - September 4, 2014 - 6:17pm

FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija - Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. gave each soldier an important reminder as he personally handed to them on Thursday their new M4 rifles.

“Treat this rifle as your wife,” he said.

It was the turn of soldiers from the 79th Infantry Battalion and the Light Reaction Regiment to get new “spouses” during a simple ceremony held at the largest military camp in the country.

“Seeing these assault M4 rifles in their hands gives them the confidence that we will successfully hit our goals and exact peace and ensuring continuous development in our country,” Catapang said.

About 400 rifles were distributed to the two units, which are involved in counter-insurgency and anti-terrorism efforts.

The firearms are among the 50,629 M4 rifles acquired by the government from American firearms manufacturer Remington Outdoor Company for P1.9-billion

A total of 27,200 of these rifles were delivered last month while the rest will arrive in December.

Part of the event was the ceremonial turnover of a rifle to Pvt. Kevin Amarille, the soldier with lowest rank at the 79th Infantry Battalion.

Catapang said the gesture symbolizes their commitment to ensure that the upgrade efforts will reach ordinary soldiers.

“I told him he should treat the rifle like his wife or if he is still single, his girlfriend,” the military chief said in Filipino.

“You should not give it away to enemies or let it rust,” he added.

The acquisition of the 5.56mm M4 rifle will allow the military to replace the early models of M-16 and M-16A1 rifles, majority of which were as old as the Vietnam War. Officials said many of the old rifles are in poor condition and need refurbishing or replacement.

Once refurbished, the old M-16 rifles will be used for trainings or distributed to civilian militias.

ARMED FORCES CATAPANG GREGORIO CATAPANG JR. INFANTRY BATTALION INFANTRY BATTALION AND THE LIGHT REACTION REGIMENT KEVIN AMARILLE REMINGTON OUTDOOR COMPANY RIFLE RIFLES VIETNAM WAR
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