9th Infantry Division marks 19th year of excellent service to the Bicolanos

For nearly two decades, the 9th Infantry “SPEAR” Division has been the foremost unit of the Philippine Army, entrusted to safeguard the safety of the Bicolanos and combat communist insurgency in the region.

In celebration of its 19-year milestone on Monday, October 2, the SPEAR troopers, not only showcased their triumphs in numerous battles against those seeking to bring chaos to the community but also earned the admiration and support of the local populace.

Through the years, the 9th ID has consistently shown its dedication to establishing peace in the region, adopting peace as its resounding battle cry.

Week-long celebration

To celebrate the sacrifices and heroism of its troops, the 9th ID, under the stewardship of Joint Task Force Bicolandia and 9th ID Commander MGen Adonis Bajao, organized a week-long celebration, giving the SPEAR troopers an opportunity to break away from their routines.

Instead of challenging men in uniform on a battlefield, they were sent to various parts of the 40-hectare camp, to conduct a tree-planting cum tree-growing challenge.

To sharpen their marksmanship, 9th ID officials and personnel embarked on a fun shoot event at the division’s firing range. Additionally, the soldiers also participated in a fun run to assess and enhance their physical agility and fitness.

MGen Bajao also led the wreath-laying ceremony at the Heroes’ Wall inside the camp as a tribute to the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives in service to the country.

PIA 5/ Camarines Sur

One of the highlights of the celebration is the warfare demonstration of soldiers coming from various line units through the static capability display. It showcased their preparedness, combat skills, and marksmanship.

The participants also displayed tactical maneuvers and seamless military operations in diverse scenarios and presented an obstacle course demonstration. An exhibition on the effective use of combined arms and fighting tools like bolo, knives, arnis sticks, and hand-to-hand combat techniques captivated the invited guests and spectators.

Unveiling and inauguration of new buildings

The notable development within Camp Elias Angeles where the SPEAR troopers reside, served as imprints to the good leadership of past commanders. It also served as a testament to the commitment of its present leader to carry forward their legacy.

In addition to the numerous facilities inside the camp, three (3) new buildings and an extended road network were formally unveiled. MGEN Bajao also led the groundbreaking ceremony and placement of a time capsule at the site of the 7-unit Senior Officers Quarters.

Included in the newly inaugurated infrastructures are the Command building, Combat Service Support building, 9th ID Multi-Purpose building and circumferential road network.

These projects were made possible through the Department of National Defense (DND) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Tatag ng Imprastraktura para sa Kapayapaan at Seguridad or TIKAS Convergence program.

Salute to the valiant men and women of 9ID

With the theme “Celebrating 19 years of Excellence,” deserving personnel and line units of the Spear Division were recognized for their invaluable contribution, dedication, and commitment to their sworn duties.

Photo credits : 9ID\, DPAO

9th ID Commander MGen. Adonis Bajao and Lt. Col. Ramos jointly pin the 2nd Infantry “Second to None” Battalion with AGP status, along with the Gold Trailblazer Award. (Photo/caption credits: 9ID, DPAO)

Joint Task Force Biclolandia and 9ID Commander MGen Adonis Bajao honors the 903rd Infantry “Patriot” Brigade, under the leadership of Brigadier General Aldwine I. Almase, with the Best Infantry Brigade Streamer award for the three consecutive years. (Credits: 9ID, DPAO)

The simple ceremony that took place on Monday, October 2, was also a momentous event for the brave men and women of the Spear Division, including its line units as their unceasing dedication was recognized during the flag-raising ceremony.

In the individual category, 1st Lt. Niño Francis Claire Siso was honored with the prestigious Best Junior Officer of Year award for Operations, 1st Lt. Ghepe Gonzales was distinguished as the Best Junior Officer of the Year for Civil-Military Operations, and Staff Sergeant Ronaldo Banta was commended as the Best Enlisted Personnel of the Year.

Meanwhile, the Civilian Armed Auxiliary (CAA) Ryan Campo was chosen as the Best CAFGU Active Auxiliary of the Year.

9th ID’s line units were also honored for their exemplary performance, which significantly contributed to the Philippine Army’s effort in countering insurgency.

For their successive triumphs in numerous military operations which resulted to the neutralization and surrender of Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) members, the 903rd Infantry “Patriot” Brigade, under the stewardship of Brigadier General Aldwine I. Almase, earned the back-to-back Best Infantry Brigade Streamer award.

A plaque of Appreciation was handed to the 81st Infantry “Spartan” Battalion from the 7th Infantry “Kaugnay” Division for their outstanding contributions to the 9th Infantry “Spear” Division and the Bicolanos

These line units were duly recognized for their essential contribution to maintaining peace in rural regions.

The 2nd Infantry “Second to None” Battalion, 31st Infantry “Charge” Battalion, and the 9th Infantry “Sandigan” Battalion were also awarded with the Army Governance Pathway (AGP) status.

In addition, the 2nd IB and the 31st IB, both guided by the capable leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Joy Villanueva also received the much-coveted Gold Trailblazer Award while the 9IB achieved the Silver Trailblazer Award.

Coast Guard District Bicol Commander Commodore Phillips Soria expressed his gratitude and full support to all the endeavors of the Philippine Arm

“Kaisa nyo po kami sa paglingkod sa bayan at asahan nyo po ang suporta at partisipasyon ng Coast Guard kung ano man ang aming pwedeng maitulong sainyo,” Soria said.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Regional Office V Regional Director PBGen Westrimundo D. Obinque extended his thanks to the Spear troopers for being their strong and dependable ally in combatting criminality and insurgency in the region.

9ID Commander MGEN Adonis Bajao Photo credits : 9ID, DPAO

Atty. Arnaldo E. Escober Jr., Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) regional director cited the 9th Infantry Division’s significant support in clearing Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs), paving the way for their personnel to work on their assignments without fear of being harassed.

“Dahil po sa pasensya ninyo, sa pakikipagtulungan ng 9ID simula noong 2019 hanggang ngayon Nawala na po ang takot ng ating mga kasama sa DILG at patuloy po nilang pinupuntaham ang mga barangay na inyo na pong sinuportahan at na klaro (Thanks to your presence and collaboration from 2019 until today, our personnel have been able to overcome their apprehensions and can now freely visit the barangays you have assisted and secured),” Escober conveyed.

In his concluding address, before the traditional boodle fight, MGen Bajao expressed his gratitude to all the attendees, invited guests, members of the Multi-Sectoral Advisory Board (MSAB), and dedicated Spear Troopers who unwaveringly held their commitment and dedication to curtail terroristic acts and for striving for peace in the region.

“Kaya hinihiling naming sa inyo na gawin niyo ang lahat ng inyong ‘Best’ at hayaan na natin ang Panginoon ang magbigay ng gantimpala sa ating mga ginagawa, dahil Siya naman talaga ang ating pinaka-pinagsisilbihan. Gawin sana natin ang ating mga misyon na para bang ikaw ay nagsisilbi sa Kanya at hindi lamang sa ating kapwa (I urge each of you to give your utmost effort, to do your best at all times and let God reward us for our commitment. By serving our people, we are also honoring the God Almighty. When we fulfill our mission, we are not only rendering service to his people, but also find favor in His eyes),”MGen Bajao said in closing. (With reports from DPAO, MFRoldan, PIA 5/ Camarines Sur)

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