Your 1st for Philippine Defense

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Zamboanga City Crisis, a Photo Collection in Honor of the Officers and Men of the AFP and PNP

As the situation in Zamboanga City continues with the defiance of rogue MNLF units to stand down and surrender, it seems that this crisis will still take a few days, or even weeks more.

MaxDefense decided to tribute the people's champion, the soldiers and police officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippine and Philippine National Police, together with countless brave volunteers from the Philippine Red Cross, with this collection of photos taken from Zamboanga City.

Evacuating citizens of Zamboanga City trying to board vehicles bound for temporary evacuation centers. 

Residents running away for safety from the scene of fighting.

An army Simba armored vehicle positioned near Baranggay Rio Hondo in Zamboanga City.
Affected citizens evacuating after MNLF bandits burn their houses.
A Kia KM-450 vehcile from the Army's 32nd Infantry Battalion, troops responding on the first day of the crisis.

The first group of Philippine Army troops that responded on the first day. Note the number of onlookers.

Army troops securing the Zamboanga City General Hospital which is near the conflict zone during the 1st day of the crisis
1st group of Philippine Army soldiers deployed preparing to move in by foot to the conflict area. 
An Army soldier from Task Force Zamboanga armed with a recoilless rifle awaits instructions.
Army soldiers marching towards the conflict zone. Photo taken from TV11 Zamboanga.
Philippine Army troops marching to the conflict zone after arriving in Zamboanga City on the 1st day of the conflict.

Philippine Marine troops marching towards the conflict zone after being offloaded near the city center. Photo taken from Associated Press.

Army soldiers with Simba armored vehicle.
Simba armored vehicles from the Philippine Army Mechanized Infantry Division mobilizing upon arrival at Zamboanga City. 
Soldiers and armored vehicles moving in.

A column of Philippine Army Simba armored vehicles from the Mechanized Infantry Division. 

A group of Philippine Marine troops discussing their plan of action before moving in. A Philippine Army Simba armored vehicle in the background. Photo taken from Reuters, dated September 12, 2013.
Marine troopers pray before moving in. Photo taken from Reuters, dated September 12, 2013.
One of the Marine troopers from MBLT-3 responding to the crisis. 
Philippine Marine Corps soldiers from Marine Battalion Landing Team 3 (MBLT-3) take positions along the city center area.
MBLT-3 Marine soldiers moving in.
Marines from Marine Battalion Landing Team 3 (MBLT-3) moving in.

PNP Regional Public Safety police officers secures and take position at one of the buildings near the MNLF bandit's strongholds.
Soldiers found some hidden weapons stored in rice bags being moved around, one of them is this. Photo taken from Reuters, September 11, 2013.

A Philippine Marine gunner positioning to secure a checkpoint. Photo taken from Reuters, dated September 11, 2013.
An army sniper armed with an M24 sniper rifle and M16 assault rifle takes position along Lustre Street in Zamboanga City.
An Army sniper armed with a Stoner SR-25 Mk. 11 sniper rifle scanning for targets.

Philippine Army troops positioned at the back of Simba armored vehicles while awaiting for signal to move in.
Simba armored vehicles from the Army take positions along Sta Catalina Road opposite to MNLF strongholds. Photo taken from Reuters, dated September 12, 2013.

Marines positioned on one side, Army on the other side.
Marines taking position. Photo taken from AFP.
Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) troops march to the conflict area backed by armored Humvees from the Philippine Army and V-150 armored vehicles from the PNP-SAF. 
Fresh troops from the PNP Special Action Force together with Army armored Humvees and PNP V-150 armored vehicles.
PNP-SAF police commandos moving in while Zamboanga City police SWAT members looks. 
PNP-SAF police commandos moving in to the scene of fighting.

Residents scramble to fetch water to douse burning hourses. Photo and caption taken from Reuters, dated September 12, 2013.

Army soldiers at the intersection of Sta. Catalina Road and Lustre Street open fire on MNLF positions. Photo taken from Reuters, dated September 12, 2013. 

Army Scout Rangers preparing for an assault along Lustre Street. Take note of their appearance as compared to all other units from the Philippine military. 
Philippine Marine troops run across the street opposite positions of MNLF bandits. Take note of the M14 battle rifle carried by the soldiers.

Philippine Marine troops run across the street opposite positions of MNLF bandits. 

Inside the turret of a Simba armored vehicle.
A sniper armed with a Stoner SR-25 Mk.11 sniper rifle check for targets. Photo taken from AFP.
Philippine National Police Regional Public Safety police officers receives a surrendering MNLF bandit.
A Philippine Air Force MD-520MG gunship taking aerial reconnaissance of the conflict zone.
An Army UAV used during the conflict maneuvering for another pass at the enemy's positions.
MD-520MG gunships of the Philippine Air Force on ready for any sudden mission.
Bell UH-1H Huey combat utility helicopters stand ready at Edwin Andrews Air Base.
Army troopers secure chokepoints leading to the conflict zone.
Zamboanga City police officers securing the city center.
Zamboanga City police officers checking a vehicle as part of security measures.
Army soldiers and Simba armored vehicle posted near the conflict area.
Army soldiers take position at the intersection of Lustre and Evangelista Streets just near the combat zone. 
Some of the Philippine Air Force's UH-1H Huey combat utility helicopters providing support from Edwin Andrews Air Base.
Firefighters scrambling to take out the fire after MNLF bandits torched houses.
2 MD-520MG gunships at Edwin Andews Air Base, ready to fly in when needed.
A W-3A Sokol combat utility helicopter and a MD-520MG gunship on ready at Edwin Andrews Air Base while Zamboanga City's coastal baranggays are in flames.
PAF W-3 Sokol and MD-520MG attack gunship in Edwin Andrews Air Base while parts of the city burn after MNLF bandits torched houses. 

A Philippine Air Force C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft bringing in supplies at nearby Edwin Andrews Air Base.
Army troops and armored vehicles take position near Lustre Street in Zamboanga City, just opposite the MNLF bandit's positions. 
Residents evacuate as houses burn during the clashes. Photo taken from Reuters dated September 12, 2013.
A resident tries to douse water to burning houses. Photo taken from Reuters dated September 12, 2013.

Residents scrambling after houses were deliberately set on fire by MNLF bandits.

Residents desperately saving their houses from a fire using water buckets.
An army Scout Ranger giving instruction near burning houses.
An aerial photo showing parts of Zamboanga City in flames after MNLF bandits set these areas on fire intentionally. 
A Simba armored vehicle, with Baranggay Sta. Catalina burning. 
An Army Scout Ranger taking position under the cover of a Simba armored vehicle. Photo taken from Reuters dated September 12, 2013.
Snipers manning the roof take a shot at an MNLF target. Photo taken from
Philippine Marine troops engaged in a firefight with MNLF bandits. 
Army infantry (right) and Scout Rangers (left) with a Simba armored vehicle from the Mechanized Infantry Division. Photo taken from Associated Press.
Philippine Marine troops take cover, while a Simba armored vehicle gives cover fire. This is at the intersection of near Lustre Street. 
Army troops taking positions during a firefight with MNLF bandits.
Army troops and armored vehicles in a firefight with MNLF bandits. Photo taken from Reuters, dated September 12, 2013.
A Simba armored vehicle firing on MNLF positions at the end of Lustre Street in Zamboanga City. Photo from Reuters. 
Empty city streets of Zamboanga after citizens are forced to vacate their homes to safer areas until the situation settles down.
Police from PNP SAF and Regional Public Safety Office check on their colleague after being injured. 
Another injured army soldier awaiting medical attention. 
Philippine Red Cross volunteers moving in after taking a wounded volunteer after being injured from a nearby explosion. 
Philippine Red Cross volunteers evacuating an injured volunteer after being hit by a mortar round. Photo taken from Rappler. 

Philippine Red Cross volunteers evacuating wounded soldiers and fellow Red Cross volunteers after a mortar round was dropped in their location
An injured Army soldier awaiting evacuation after being hit by a mortar shrapnel. 
Soldiers evacuating injured troops and Red Cross volunteers. 

Army soldiers checking their injured companions while Red Cross volunteers move in to evacuate them.
An army soldier directing his companions after one of their comrades was injured. 

One of the injured Red Cross volunteers awaiting evacuation from the frontline. Photo taken from Rappler.

Soldiers carrying their injured comrade after being hit by mortar round from MNLF bandits. Photo taken from Rappler.
Mediamen taking cover behind a Simba armored vehicle from the Philippine Army to avoid being hit by MNLF snipers. Photo taken from GMA News.
A Scorpion light tank from the Philippine Army's Mechanized Infantry Division being loaded to a Philippine Air Force C-130 Hercules transport aircraft bound for Zamboanga City.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III assisting in giving relief supplies for distribution to the affected citizens of Zamboanga City.
Philippine Marine Corps soldiers taking some snack and rest from a hectic day. Photo taken from Reuters, dated September 12, 2013. 
A Marine heavy weapons trooper resting. Photo from Reuters.
An army trooper taking a break a some snacks.
After heavy fighting these Marine soldiers take some rest while their comrades take over their duties for the moment. Photo taken from Reuters, dated September 12, 2013.
Army soldiers securing a street rests under a shade while awaiting further orders. 
Soldiers patrol the main boulevard in Zamboanga City to make sure the area is secured.
Let us remember the sacrifices of our soldiers and police officers, those who died and got injured during the course of the crisis, for their bravery and service to the country and people. Prayers and support for our men in uniform, and to the people of Zamboanga City.


  1. Thanks max defense for this tribute to our military forces who did there sacrifice to control this crisis, And I can see from these photo some new fighting equipment acquired by the Aquino administration. Our people in the front line deserve to be fully equip in dealing with this unwanted crisis in our country. lets support the AFP modernization program that push by the Aquino administration

    1. You can actually see the use of a small UAV, which according to several accounts is actually a modified Skywalker commercial RC plane.

  2. some pork barrels funds should be poured into zamboanga and Basilan operation for the men and women in the service including support for refugees. in the meantime lets hope those pork barrel crooks will be locked in jail and assets confiscated. people should demand this.

  3. some pork barrel funds should be poured in this military operation and also in Basilan. including support for the refugees. Meanwhile, people should demand all pork barrel suspects convicted be jailed and assets confiscated as soon as possible.

  4. Bless these soldiers. Proud to be a Filipino!

  5. Max, thank you, your post was more informative than most network news articles out there. Just a curious question though: is there a modernization program for the Army infantry's combat armor? It's just that in one of the pics, I cant help but compare the personal protective equipment (and camo pattern tech) used by the Marines and the Army. In one pic (actually the popular shot or vid of news networks) shows huddled Army troopers shooting from a corner, wearin no flak jacket and combat helmet. Sadly the most popular and publicized AFP fights since Erap are ground battles (not naval battles, and maybe helicopter assaults)? Maybe the AFP should have done this earlier, since we are still fighting an effective insurgency? Since media coverage seems embedded (not 100%sure), a visual representation of well equipped ground troopers would do well to raise morale and confidence of the public. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, sir. -Ray, Metro Manila, Philippines

    1. Hi Ray. The DND and AFP are already in the process of updating the standard infantry gear, including the force protection equipment (body armor) which is a joint Army-Marines project, and new or upgraded assault rifles (2 separate projects involving the purchase of 50,000 new M4 carbines and re-manufacturing/upgrade of existing M16 rifles by the Government Arsenal). As for the helmets, there are several accounts which confirm that our Special Operations Command troops (Scout Rangers, Special Forces, Light Reaction Battalion) have complete personal protection equipment for all its members, but some opt not to wear them due to difficult in movement. These are the troops you see on the photos with worn down uniform (lighter shade), tan-desert colored boots or sometimes rubber shoes, assorted web gear, and have beards and mustache. I am not in a position to say why is this allowed, but there appears to be a "tradition" or "acceptance" in this from the Army. But it appears to be different for the Marines.

    2. Thank you for enlightening us on that matter, Max. God bless our soldiers.

      That joint Army-Marine program is great. Kevlar vests and helmets could save more soldier lives. And maybe more UAVs, for better reconnaisance and coverage. I am for reconciliation in Mindanao, but for these bandits, a decisive win and utter destruction of the hostage takers would probably deter future crimes against civilians. -Ray

  6. Thank you for these posts. These men need our prayers for their protection and safety. Aside from our prayers, let's continue to fight for transparency and accountability in government - one of the ways to curb incidences such as these and if this may happen again, our men will be MORE Equipped to quell this things.

  7. thank you for your post. I give my 100 percent support to our soldiers in the field. I sulute/...God bless you.

  8. Mga bayani kayong lahat! I hope you give these F***kers Hell...and send them back to Allah!

    1. Let's be careful in our words, folks, our enemy here is not religion by ideology, banditry and terrorism. Zamboanga is by far the best example of a Philippine city where Muslims and Christians live in harmony and peace. Let us help bring Mindanao into this situation of brothers of different religion living together.

    2. too bad..ngayun ko lang nakita ang comment na careful buddy... theres a lot of respected muslim soldiers in the afp a lot of them were high ranking officers and members of special forces...they served the crisis too.i already met a lot of them and they really hate those insurgents because theyre giving muslims a bad reputation..the war is not about religions or any other faith..its about the filipino people vs the enemy of state

  9. Thanks for these pics, MaxDefense... our soldiers really need appreciations

    1. Every small thing counts, not only our soldiers do need your help and appreciation, but also the people of Zamboanga City.

  10. Emperor MAX, great blog you have going here. We hope your armed forces overcome this ugly situation. Your special forces are nicely kitted too.

    Henry, beegeagle's blog, nigeria

    1. A pleasant surprise! Welcome General Henry! Thanks for visiting! Yes the situation is getting better on the ground according to the military as reportedly only a handful of hostages remain. Surprising are the gears coming out from the military and police, there are even more photos and videos in the news showing rare finds. By the way, what happened to the beegeagle blog, no September posts yet from General Beeg?

  11. thanks you bringing to us this photographic information about the conflict in Zambaoanga. we should support and praise our brave soldiers fighting this insurgency!

  12. General beeg has been missing in action for over 2 weeks now. We (beegeagle's bloggers) can only hope and pray he is fine.

    1. Oh too bad, I visited a few times this September but there's no new posts...feel free to visit here anytime, we'll all have to wait for General Beeg to return.

  13. Salute to the Brave Men of AFP!

  14. Salamat po sa inyo AFP, PNP, mga Volunteers....Dapat sunugin sa impierno ang mga demonyo sa senado at kongreso....


  15. meron pa bang ibang pics?? yung kita ang mnlf.. at ibang modern arsenal ng afp.. btw..salute to the brave soldiers of the afp!!
    sana maraming nang nabiling modern equipments ang afp kun di lang nakurakot ang 10 billion pork barrel.. dapat isabak sa giyera ang mga corrupt na mga opisyal.. tutal matapang nman sila sa pgkurap.. cguru mtapang dn cla sa labanan.. ask q lng kun anu yung latest update sa afp modernization..

  16. salute to the brave soldiers of the afp who courageously defend the peace and unity of the people of philippines.. nakita q na mas nag improve ang mga equipments ng ating sandatahang lakas.. pero sana bigyan pa sila ng kaukulang atensyon lalu na ang kanilang mga personal protective equipment tulad ng kevlar vests at helmets..

  17. Sir Max, with regards to the newly bought Sokol helicopters. Lately, 1 of its units is grounded because of malfunctioning. Do you think it is now on operation? And I was surprised we have FV101 Scorpion in the AFP inventory! Way to go AFP!

    1. That helicopter just encountered some minor electrical problems and is already back in service for quite some time. It's just a normal problem that was given too much media frenzy. The army have Scorpions for several decades already.

  18. definitely they need to upgrade on checkpoints,blockades and cordones, the lack was shown here. gonna need some heavily armored tanks/apc's soon those rubbers wont stand a chance. sooner the mnlf will payback. we must protect our internal territory first. Respect to the Soldiers. are the soldiers night capable? also. who provides weapon for this rebels. they're very capable. i suspect some country. they are as armed! those soldiers without helmet, cringe.

    1. The MNLF still has their cache of weapons since the previous peace agreement allowed them to keep their weapons. The Simba and V-150 are sufficient foe the job but the army is already looking at newer types of armored vehicles to compliment the Simbas and V-150. Some units are night capable especially the SOCOM operators.

  19. We owed to these brave soldiers the peace that we are enjoying! Thank you Sir Max for your writings! Hoping that our muslim brothers support one country that everybody enjoys whatever their religion.

  20. ...scorpion light tanks might be useful to our afp bcoz we can't afford to buy and maintain mbt's.. but what we really need are new patrol ships, frigates, and modern protective and assault equipments..

  21. Here's to the fighting men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines . So that many of us may sleep soundly at night that no one may place violence upon us , for they stay vigil on harms way . The city of Zamboanga will forever be in your gratitude for keeping peace and freedom as a way of life.
    If these "grunts " are willing to take the brunt for our sake , why can't the politicians step up and show some leaderships and patriotism so that their sacrifices are not in vain. Let us show our support by giving up the " pork barrel " and instead use these funds to better equipped our soldiers so they can perform their duties at their fullest capabilities. GODBLESS "MGA KAPATID " May The Lord Christ deliver you from harms way as He continue to watch over you . AMEN

  22. ..sir max, what's latest about the fa-50 jets prcurement?? totoo ba na may na deliver nang dalawa??

    1. Not true. The 2 T-50s in blue and yellow liveries recently in Cebu were en-route to Indonesia for delivery. Those were T-50i, not FA-50.

    2. false alarm lng pla..

    3. It's not even a false alarm. There's really nothing yet because there's not even a contract to start with.

    4. ..wat the hell.. i was thinking that the jets are currently built and will be delivered this year, because dnd was mouthful of their procurement of fighter jets.. but the truth is,, there's still no contract signing??!! yeah!! way to go afp.. ba't di nlng tayu magpasakup sa china?? pra di na tayu mamroblema pa sa pagbili ng mga yan.. nakakahigh blood nman kau..

    5. No contract yet for FA-50. The thing is, there's a glaring hope. See here.

  23. Dami noting comments, ni ISA slang nagpasLamat sa bombero na 24/7 ing mgresponde...


Philippine Navy Modernization Projects

Philippine Air Force Modernization Projects