This article provides an overview of the Civil Affairs Group (CAG), a unit of the Philippines Army within the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The CAG is one of several special operations force (SOF) units of the Philippine Army and used to be part of the Philippines Army Special Operations Command (PASOCOM), which has since been superseded by the Armed Forces of the Philippines Special Operations Command (AFPSOCOM)
2.0 Roles and Tasks
The role of the CAG includes a number of specialist tasks, for example:
- Engaging in Civil-Military Operations (CMO) in order to gain public support for the Army’s role in ISO.
- Engaging in Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) to both weaken the insurgent’s will to fight and to strengthen the fighting spirit of the troops.
- Develop, produce, and evaluate PSYOPS products, using all forms of media.
- Conducts training of Army personnel on CMO, PSYOPS, TRI-Media (print, radio, and TV), and Public Affairs courses.
Its primary, and overarching, task is to conduct civil affairs and PSYOPS in support of Army units conducting internal security operations (ISO).
3.0 Brief History
The CAG of the Philippine Army traces its roots to the Public Relations Office (PRO), organised in the 1950’s.
The group was once part of the PASOCOM, as part of the push for civil-military co-operation in counter-insurgency (COIN) operations, but was placed under the direct control of the HQ of the Philippine Army in the late 1990’s, perhaps 1999.
The CAG “…is directly under the control of the Headquarters of the Philippine Army.” (Lastimado & Rojas, 2004, p.23).
The CAG is based at the HQ in Fort Bonifacio, Makati City, serving as a combat support unit for the Philippine Amry (Lastimado & Rojas, 2004).
5.0 Organisation of the CAG
In 2004, Lastimado & Rojas (2004, p.24) state the CAG had approximately 130 personnel and was organised as follows:
- HQ and HQ Service Company.
- Information Development Centre.
- Livelihood Training Centre.
- Civil-Military Operations School (CMOS, 2019a).
- HQ at Fort Andres Bonifacio, Taguig City.
- Provides a range of courses:
- Public Affairs Course.
- Civil Affairs Course.
- Information Support Affairs Course.
- CMO Officer Correspondence Course.
- CMO NCO Correspondence Course.
- 1-week Community Support Programme White Area Operations (CSP-WAO).
- 1-week Community Support Programme Red Area Operations (CSP-RAO).
- Led by the Commandant, a Major (OF-3) (CMOS, 2019b).
- Three Civil Affairs Teams.
6.0 Useful Publications
- Lastimado, A.R. & Rojas, A.G. (2004) The Armed Force of the Philippines and Special Operations. Master’s Thesis. Naval Postgraduate School. Available from World Wide Web: https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a429856.pdf. [Accessed: 21 August, 2019].
- Headquarters Philippine Army Letter Directive dated February 24, 2004, Subject: Rightsizing of SOCOM.
- PAM 3-071: Philippine Special Forces Operations Manual.
7.0 Useful Links
- Civil-Military Operations School, Philippine Army: https://www.facebook.com/ARMYCMOSCHOOL/.
CMOS (Civil-Military Operations School, Philippine Army). (2019a) 2nd Training Cycles Concludes. Posted 03 September 2019. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.facebook.com/ARMYCMOSCHOOL/. [Accessed: 04 September, 2019].
CMOS (Civil-Military Operations School, Philippine Army). (2019b) Two new in-service trainings on Community Support Program (CSP) on Monday, August 19. Posted 25 August 2019. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.facebook.com/ARMYCMOSCHOOL/. [Accessed: 04 September, 2019].
Lastimado, A.R. & Rojas, A.G. (2004) The Armed Force of the Philippines and Special Operations. Master’s Thesis. Naval Postgraduate School. Available from World Wide Web: https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a429856.pdf. [Accessed: 21 August, 2019].