The Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines mission is to support the comprehensive approach of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in their fight against terrorism and lawless elements in the southern Philippines and preventing terrorists from establishing safe havens. At the request of the Philippine government, JSOTF-P works alongside the AFP in a strictly non-combat role to defeat terrorists, eliminate safe havens and create the conditions necessary for peace, stability and prosperity in the southern Philippines.
JSOTF-P is comprised of between 500 and 600 personnel from all four military services, including Army Special Operations Forces, Navy Seals, Air Force special operators and a host of support personnel from all four U.S. military services.
JSOTF-P is comprised of a headquarters element, located at Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City and three subordinate regional task forces which operate throughout Mindanao alongside the Armed Forces of the Philippines:
· Task Force Archipelago: Based at Camp Navarro, Zamboanga del Sur Province
· Task Force Mindanao: Based at Camp Siongco, Maguindanao Province
· Task Force Sulu: Based at Camp Bautista, Jolo Island, Sulu Province
A handful of JSOTF-P personnel also work in Manila to coordinate activities with the US Embassy Country Team and AFP General Headquarters.
The members of JSOTF-P operate “by, through and with” their Philippine Armed Forces counterparts in a strictly non-combat role to:
- Bring humanitarian assistance to conflict-affected communities
- Medical and Dental Civic Action programs to deliver care where the need is great
- Veterinary Civic Action Programs to provide farmers livelihood assistance
- Engineering Civic Action Programs to provide local communities infrastructure improvements such as schools, water wells, roads, piers and medical centers
- Share information with the Philippine Armed Forces
- The U.S. shares intelligence data and other information to assist the AFP in planning future operations
- Build AFP capacity through subject matter expert exchange programs (SMEEs) to exchange lessons learned on subjects such as:
- Tactical Combat Casualty Care o Convoy Security
- Marksmanship o Forward Air Control
- Small Unit Tactics o Civil Military Operations Planning
- Mission Planning o Maritime Operations
- Explosive Ordnance Disposal o Casualty Evacuation
· Between October 2007 and June 2011, JSOTF-P committed more than $24 million to 220 humanitarian assistance projects to improve the quality of life for communities in need in Mindanao.
· The AFP and JSOTF-P, during more than 500 joint civic action projects, delivered free medical and dental care to more than 104,600 patients from local communities from October 2007 to June 2011.
· Quite a few families also benefited as their farm animals received assistance during more than 228 AFP-US veterinarian projects.
· The AFP-US partnership completed more than 140 infrastructure projects – new schools, roads, piers, water wells, and medical centers benefiting the people of the southern Philippines.