DND ‘redesigning’ reserve force for territorial defense

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. delivers a speech at the culmination of the 2023 National Reservist Week on September 30, 2023 in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. (Photo by AFP)

The Department of National Defense (DND) is restructuring the military’s reserve force, this time, focusing on developing its capability to respond to territorial defense operations aside from internal security.

This was disclosed by DND Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. during the culmination of the 44th National Reservist Week at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Saturday, Sept. 30.

“We are in the process of redesigning our reserve force based on the needs of times. Hopefully, we can come up with a synergistic, ready and relevant Reserve Force not only now but lay the foundations for building it and changing the shape as needed in the future,” Teodoro said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) Reserve Force is organized into five components namely the Army Reserve Component, the Air Force Reserve Component, the Navy Reserve Component, the AFP-wide Technical Reserve Component, and the Affiliated Reserves.

The formulation of the Reserve Force was in accordance with Republic Act 7077 or the Citizen Armed Forces of the Philippines Reservist Act.

Under Article III, Section 7 of RA 7077, the Reserve Force is mandated to provide the base for the expansion of the AFP in the event of war, invasion or rebellion; assist in relief and rescue during disaster or calamities; help in socio-economic development; and work with the AFP in the operation and maintenance of essential government or private utilities.

The 27th Naval Affiliated Reserve Group conducted a capability demonstration during the culmination of the 44th National Reservist Week to promote awareness and showcase the military Reserve Force’s move towards a “resilient posture.”

“What we witnessed today was something that I wanted to underscore on a strategic basis. We have to build up our reserve force hand-in-hand with building up non-military civil defense units in order to secure our communities,” Teodoro said.

AFP Chief General Romeo Brawner Jr. also recognized outstanding reservists and reserve units for their dedication to serve the country and people.

“You have been instrumental in responding to natural disasters, providing humanitarian assistance, and supporting internal security operations and territorial defense operations. Your sterling performance stands as a testament to your dedication and resolve in the name of duty as we forge ahead in our mission to safeguard our nation and our people,” Brawner said.