At 1400h on Tuesday 23rd May 2017 elements of the Philippines National Police Force (PNP) and the Philippine Army’s (PA) 103rd Infantry Brigade executed a raid in Marawi City to capture Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon. By day’s end the city was in lockdown. Its people had fled or hidden, living in fear. Those not as lucky were either hostages of the Maute Group or one of the first fatalities in a conflict that closed with a body count of more than 1,100. Black Islamic State flags flew in the smoky city streets. Soldiers and Police Officers clashed in a brutal fire fight with Abu Sayyaf and Maute fighters – the catalyst to the 168-day battle for Marawi.
The ADF has almost 50 years of experience building counter terrorist and counter violent extremist capability with partner forces through Defence Cooperation Programs, Indigenous Capacity Building, Partner Forces Assistance, Security Forces Assistance and Train, Advise, Assist missions.
This report describes the lessons learnt by the JTG 629 Mobile Training Teams (MTT) working alongside the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during the first six months of Operation AUGURY – Philippines. It includes ten key lessons as we conducted know, shape and strike, adapt and sustain functions. The report is based on specific events and engagements; however, the essence can be applied with its own specific flavour to working with partner forces generally.