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Monday, August 22, 2011

AFP Awards Civic Action Medal to JSOTF-P Servicemembers

  ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) honored 15 servicemembers from the U.S. Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) with the Philippine Military Civic Action Medal (CAM) at an awards ceremony held at Camp Navarro, Zamboanga City, Aug. 19.

The award highlights the combined training and humanitarian projects conducted by JSOTF-P members through partnership with the AFP. 
According to the citation, these projects improve the lives of countless Filipinos, helping to reduce support for lawless groups and their safe havens in the southern Philippines. Col. Casiano C. Monilla Jr., Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) Chief of Unified Command Staff, presented JSOTF-P’s servicemembers with the award for their contributions made to the Republic of the Philippines.
             “We really appreciate the presence of the U.S. forces here and the assistance you have given us,” Monilla said.
Since January 2011, JSOTF-P has participated in various humanitarian and civil assistance programs, making four visits to the Talon-Talon Orphanage and three to the Women's and Children's shelter.  Members have also raised over $1,400 USD for outreach programs and have donated over 1,000 pounds of clothing. WESTMINCOM recognized them as having earned honor not only for themselves, but for the AFP as well. 

The awardees were also recognized for their dedication and hard work for assisting, training and advising units under WESTMINCOM that ultimately improved the capabilities of Filipino Soldiers and increased their chances of survival in combat. 

 “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to be recognized by a foreign counterpart for your contributions to their country,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Shyla Consalo, the JSOTF-P paralegal.  “I feel so blessed that I’ve had the opportunity to help some local families here.  Every time I look at this medal it will remind me of those families and the opportunity I had to make a difference in their lives.”

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