Mindanao troops receive Israeli 155 MM cannons on trucks

Roel Pareño, John Unson - Philstar.com
Mindanao troops receive Israeli 155 MM cannons on trucks
Mindanao army troopers gather around the newly obtained fire-power weapons Israeli-made Autonomous Truck-Mounted Howitzer System (ATMOS) 155mm/52 caliber self-propelled artillery that arrived in General Santos City on Sept. 29, 2022 to support the military operation in Central Mindanao.
Western Mindanao Command

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — The defense department has augmented the artillery assets of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division with eight modern large truck-mounted canons from Israel to boost its anti-terror operations.

Major Gen. Roy Galido, commander of 6th ID, on Saturday briefed reporters on the technical intricacies of the eight 155 millimeter Autonomous Truck Mounted Howitzer System, or ATMOS 2000, that the national government shipped to Camp Siongco in Maguindanao via the seaport in General Santos City.

The eight ATMOS 2000 arrived at the Makar Port in General Santos City Thursday.

“These are surely effective artillery equipment,” Galido said during a brief talk with reporters in Camp Siongco on Saturday.

The 6th ID’s headquarters is located in Camp Siongco in nearby Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao, near the Cotabato City Airport.

Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr., commander of Western Mindanao Command, said the latest weaponry system will be operated by the 10th Field Artillery Battalion of the Army Artillery Regiment based at Camp Lucero, Carmen, Cotabato.

“The acquisition of these assets will significantly contribute to the peace, security, and development efforts of the government in the southwestern Philippines,” Rosario said. 

Each of the eight ATMOS 2000 units has an automatic shell loading system, way too advanced compared to the old 155 millimeter canons that soldiers have been using since the outbreak of the Mindanao secessionist conflict in the early 1970s.

Galido said the 6th ID is thankful to acting Defense Secretary Jose Faustino Jr. and the Headquarters of the Philippine Army for sending them eight ATMOS 2000 units.

He said Faustino had branded the artillery units as “game-changer” in the military’s fight against enemies of state, including terrorist groups in central Mindanao --- the Dawlah Islamiya and its ally, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

Both groups, operating in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, have forces in a number of towns in central Mindanao, particularly in the provinces of Lanao del Sur, North Cotabato, Maguindanao, Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat.

The Dawlah Islamiya and the BIFF both have a reputation for setting off home-made bombs in public places to avenge deaths of members in clashes with pursuing units of 6th ID.


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