Archive for the Military Photos Category

Action-Drama Series on Philippine TV debut for the PH SEALs

Posted in Philippine Naval Special Operations Group (Navsog) on April 4, 2013 by stukaph

My first post for 2013 after being dormant for about 2 years (?) from blogging.


Lead actor Richard Guiterrez aboard one of the Philippine Navy’s Jacinto class attack ship, BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS-35).

Philippine GMA Channel 7 will start airing a TV drama series “Love and Lies” on April 8, 2013. Local actors, Richard Guiterrez, Sid Lucero and Paolo Contis will all play roles of Philippine Navy SEALs. On March 13, 2013, Richard and Paolo along with film Director Mark Reyes visited the Philippine Navy Headquarters and paid a courtesy call on the Navy Chief, Vice Admiral Jose Luis M. Alano. Aside from the courtesy call, the actors also signed up as Philippine Navy Reservists.

Vice Admiral Alano assured the TV network of the Navy’s full support and assistance for the project. “We look forward to this project in which we can show and highlight what the Philippine Navy is all about”, Vice Admiral Alano said. He likewise briefed Richard and Paolo about the rigid training and life of a Navy SEAL.


Actors Richard Guiterrez, Sid Lucero and Paolo Contis during one of the tactical trainings.

For the 1st time, the Philippine Navy especially its elite unit, the Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG) will be highlighted and give full support to this kind of project e.g. equipment, vehicles, etc. at the film production’s disposal. As a matter of fact, the actors are also provided with appropriate trainings to ensure the authenticity of the character of the Navy SEAL that these boys will be portraying including shooting adeptness of the SEALs’ choice of assault rifle.

There will also be special appearances and participation of the real PH SEAL operators in this action fill, fast pace drama series. As such, lead star Richard Guiterrez promised to showcase how good these silent professionals are, how resilient they are, how discipline they are.


Lead actor Richard Guiterrez with the Commanding Officer of the SEAL sniper
Team named 9/11 and LTJG Silvestre Rana shown here with swimmer’s radio headset.


The other actors with PH SEALs aboard the Philippine Navy attack ship during the weekly taping.

I am privilege to have been provided great materials from the SEAL themselves during this taping through a common friend, who already left the Navy service and now work as an independent maritime security escort in international cargo ships. The material inspired me to update my blog after being dormant mainly due to work and making a living. Nevertheless, with such great sources that I hopefully continue to b egetting or have access to, I will always find time to update this blog.

Meanwhile, enjoy the photos until the series will be aired that surely will captivate the fans both of the casts and followers of one of the elite units of the Philippine Military. I’m sure the actors themselves will also now become avid fans of the Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG). I bet the actors will also keep their respective distinct tigerstripes combat uniforms provided for by the SEAL as a remembrance of the honor to be working and portraying the character of a PH SEAL.


One of the cast, Ms. Bella Padilla in the company of these fine gentlemen and warriors.


US NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE, NWU Type III – AOR 2 Camouflage Uniform on assignment in Philippines

Posted in Camouflage Uniforms, Military Photos on January 22, 2011 by stukaph

US SEAL member in Joint/Combined MFF exercise in Philippines.

This photo was taken during the 1st day of the Military Free Fall (MFF) exercise in Air Force City, formerly Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Philippines mainly with the Philippine National Police Special Action Force. A US NAVY SEAL donning their new Naval Working Uniform (NWU) Type III camouflage uniform called Area of Responsibility (AOR) 2. As the US Navy decided to change the uniform of its sailors and adopted the NWU Type I blue digital uniform, Naval Special Warfare Group took the opportunity to also come up with their own version to upgrade their current battle dress uniforms specifically for their special operations units.

Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) formerly the SEAL Team 6 created an Integrated Process Team (IPT) to develop this new uniform. IPT consisted of combat-experienced NSW operators who had the knowledge of the required current wartime areas of operation and what work best in the filed. The team progressed and currently testing two (2), four color digital camouflage patterns. They are the NSW Type II, Area of Responsibility 1 (AOR 1) which is designed mainly for Arid, Desert and this one, NSW Type III, Area of Responsibility 2 (AOR 2) for jungle, tropical/woodland or temperate region such as the Philippines where these NSW operators rotate for joint-exercise, training and/or their various roles as part of the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines (OEF-P).

There are several main manufacturers contracted by NSW to make this new uniforms and combat gear of the same camouflage patterns, e.g. London Bridge Trading (LBT), Blackhawk Industries (BHI),  Arc’teryx, Eagle Industries (EI), Crye Precision, etc..Hence, they came up with specific names for these types of camouflage, like LBT called it AOR 1 (Desert/Arid), AOR 2  (Tropical) and Crye Precision’s DIGI 1 (Tropical) and DIGI 2 (Desert/Arid). So far, these are the two names for these camouflage patterns and probably, other manufacturers may call it differently, making it more confusing.

LBT being co-located in Virginia, USA with their established long time relationship with the East Coast NSW for their tactical combat gear, where DEVGRU are based may have been first contacted to development this new camouflage pattern. Thus, the standard naming convention for this type of pattern. Whereas, for Crye Precision who developed the famous MULTICAM all terrain camouflage pattern that was also contracted to supply these new NSW Type III camo pattern named it Digi1, and the NSW Type II Digi2 for Arid/desert terrains.

By now, you may have pretty much of the idea why we usually find them described as AOR1/Digi2 (Desert) and AOR2/Digi1 (Jungle). But IPT not only came up with this new camouflage pattern but also, efficient features and configuration to address the deficiencies of the current battle dress uniforms.


US SEAL Team and US Army Special Forces in Philippines

2nd day: A prayer to honor the Philippine Army trooper of the Special Forces Regiment – Airborne (SFR-A) who was killed in a parachute accident a day before this was taken. The trooper was a participant of this Military Free Fall Joint/Combined Exercise Training (JCET) under the RP-US Vector Balance Piston 10-2.

Also, in this exercise was participated by US Army Special Forces, some of them already had been issued their all terrain 7-color Multi-Environment Camouflage (MultiCam) uniform. The Multicam was already announced after the trial period to supersede the current US Army wide issued Universal Camouflage Pattern, seen in the Army Combat Uniform (ACU).

As for this new NSW AOR camouflage pattern and the details of the configuration, like how many pockets and where to efficiently place them, the uniform that the NSW forces are wearing here are the final design that was decided and therefore, conformance testing is ongoing that started early 2010. One that I think stands out among the many features of these uniforms are the detachable hard shell knee pad that you can take off when not in combat. You can clearly see from the photo above the provisions for it.


US SEAL in AOR-2 and US Army SF in Multicam uniforms

The photos here were all taken in June 2010 and according to the NSW Team leader in this MFF event, these had been recently issued to them about less than 5~6 months ago. And according to NSW source, the goal is to issue personnel three uniforms, 2 eight-point covers and a Gortex Jacket with fleece liner, since they are still in development. Accordingly, it is not known when they will settle with the final configuration of these new types II and III uniforms but NSW is rigorously working with the Navy to pursue the full issue of these uniforms before the current timeline in year 2012.

Having said all these and to put an end of this writing, what was interested during this event and my prior knowledge of these new uniforms, I cannot help but to speculate the following:

  1. The patch that you can see in the first photo when one look at it closer during this event seems to have a small number “6” on it!  Does it mean that this NSW Team was members of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) formerly of SEAL Team Six? Although, they were said to be NSW SEAL Team One, I would like to think so!
  2. IPT being created by NSW DEVGRU to develop these new uniforms, it is only but right to have their operators and personnel first to test it.
  3. If indeed they were DEVGRU and having known to work closely with US Army 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta  (1st SFOD-D) aka Combat Application Group (CAG) or the most hype Delta Force., the United States’ primary counter-terrorism unit, then maybe, the US SF here in MultiCam were also indeed members of Delta.

Well, of course, if not then, just treat this as putting some exaggeration in this writing to evoke strong feelings or to create strong impressions of the participants of this exercise.

More photos:


US SEAL on their way to board a US C130 aircraft for their Military Free Fall in Air Force City

Philippine Army SFR-A Officer in full para gear for the joint RP-US MFF.

Philippine Army Special Forces Regiment – Airborne (SFR-A) officer in his coverall Tigerstripes camouflage who participated in this Joint Military Free Fall exercise.  I am personally a big fan of tigerstripes camouflage uniforms ever since it was developed by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) during the Vietnam War.

RP-US Special Forces boarding a US C130 aircraft for their MFF exercise.


Philippine Marine Corps’ Force Reconnaisance Battalion (FRBn aka MFR)

Posted in Military Photos on January 17, 2011 by stukaph

Philippine Marine Force Recon

A member of the Philippine Marine Force Reconnaissance Battalion (FRBn aka MFR) attached to a Marine Brigade to serve as quick maneuvering force.




MFR specializes in Sea, Air and Land operations, like its counterpart in the Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG) of the Philippine Navy, ranging from reconnaissance, close combat, demolition, intelligence and underwater operations in support to the overall naval operations. What makes it different from the Special Warfare Group is that it utilizes strategies and tactics mastered by the Philippine Army’s 1st Scout Ranger Regiment and Special Forces units. Source: Wikipedia

In this photo was MFR Staff Sergeant Eliseo D. Salo (RIP) in his Philippine Marine Camouflage Uniform taken in-theater during the final phase (Test Mission) deployment of Marine Scout Sniper School Class 11 operations in support of Philippine Military’s Oplan Ultimatum in the Island of Jolo, Philippines.

SSGT Salo was a seasoned and veteran of many combat tours in Southern Philippines and the team leader of the Marine Scout Sniper Course Class NR 11 conducted from 05th December 2009 to 25th February 2010.

Graduation photo of Class NR 11 less their Sniper class’ team leader, SSGT Eliseo D. Salo. He was killed in action, four (4) days short of the graduation rites. At the time of him being fatally shot in the chest, six (6) known personalities of the adversary were already dead said to be all head-shots, including a High Value Target (HVT) leader responsible for the early January 2010 abduction of three (3) members of the International Committee of the Red Cross ( Swiss, Italian and Filipino nationals) and also, among those that seized 21 people, including Asians, European Tourists in April 2000 from Sipadan Diving Resort in Sandakan, Sabah.

Aside from the momentary introduction of the Philippine Marine Force Recon Bn and the highlights on SSGT Salo in this article, I am also covering here the superseded Philippine Marine camouflage pattern in brief:

This specific Philippine Marine camouflage pattern was introduced in year 2000 and issued on May of the same year. Hence, was fondly called “Marine 2000” by militaria enthusiasts and collectors, a four-color design of black, brown and green on light khaki backdrop. This pattern is now gradually being replaced by the current Philippine Marine digital camouflage pattern. You may check the graduation photo above whereby the four Marine officers sitting on a bench were in their new Philippine Marine Corps’ digital uniforms.

And by the way, the boonie hat that is on the top photo are fondly called “Lousy Hat”, a Philippine Military jargon, being obviously a nifty and floppy hat brim. Thus, a “lousy” nature of its style but effective in combat concealment to cut out the silhouette of a human head from a distance in a jungle environment. So whenever, you have the opportunity to visit Philippine military camps or military shops in the vicinity or for foreign military who are in, on a joint military exercises, it’s always good to understand the local slang when one dig to trade a boonie hat with their local counterparts.

US Marine Corps' Marine Force Recon with Philippine MFR Boonie hat

A USMC Force Recon in their usual jungle MARPAT digital camouflage uniform donning a Philippine Marine Corps’ Force Recon “lousy” hat in one of their joint-exercises in the Philippines with their local counterparts. I believe this photo was taken in the Marine base beach resort in Ternate, Cavite. Yes, a beach resort but not so open to the public. I think this is Katungkulan beach named after Camp Katungkulan, a Philippine Marine Corps’ training center and forest area reservation. A prior arrangement is needed to enjoy the beach obviously for security reason.

Another photo reference below of the Philippine Marines Force Recon “Lousy Hat” taken during one of their Airborne classes.

Philippine Marines Force Recon "Lousy" hat

NAVSOG Distinctive Tigerstripes 3-Day Assault Pack

Posted in Philippine Naval Special Operations Group (Navsog) on January 10, 2011 by stukaph

PH SEAL Distinctive Tigerstripes 3-Day Assault Pack







DESCRIPTION A PH SEAL 3-day assault pack in tigerstripes camouflage pattern where the color variation is distinct to the Philippine Naval Special Warfare Group. The pack was designed based from the classic Lila Outdoor backpack, a local outdoor gear manufacturer which eventually ventured into supplying the local military Special Operation Group for their combat gear needs and thus, all of their military products were classified into what is now known as GEAR MAX Series. Obviously, I would like to think that this is in accord with the initiative to provide our local armed forces especially its various Special Operations, access to commercial off the shelves (COTS) solution for a sturdy and functional military combat gear.

MATERIALS The tigerstripes version of this pack was limited due to the scarcity of this specific tigerstripe material supplies and availability, which I believe is made of Condra or Kondra Nylon. Hence, this specific camouflage variety is no longer available. Last time, I got an opportunity to visit them with a good friend back in 2nd quarter of 2010, there were only last four pieces left and already on reserved. Black color in regular supply though and also commonly used by PH SEAL Operators if one really dig this 3-day pack.

WORKMANSHIP & QUALITY The pack is well built using industry standard tools and acceptable materials with very good workmanship quality. As a matter of fact, all Gear Max Series comes with a lifetime warranty. Nonetheless, having said earlier that the TS fabric material is made of Kondra Nylon, I am not sure though if these TS variety were constructed using 500 or 750 Denier but for sure not the heavier coated 1000 denier to make it more affordable.

VARIATION DETAILS To note, in the photo above is the same batch of their 3-Day version prototypes with a subdued low profile NAVSOG insignia beautifully embroidered on the upper front, just above the black MOLLE webbings (rightmost closed-up photo) with no GearMax markings anywhere in the pack at all. However, in the subsequent productions, upon instructions from NAVSOG, the subdued embroidered NAVSOG “Wing” or insignia was taken off. Consequently, even as this had been subdued in the prototypes or in the test phase, this may well still call unnecessarily attention and somehow take away the unassuming nature of these fine operators… But noticed on my other TS pack that although they are exactly the same less the wing, a GearMax label is now on the shoulder strap and replacing where the embroidered wings was once positioned, is now a black 2” x 3” fabric hook-and-loop fastening tape (similar to VELCRO® brand) for flexibility to attached/detached a patch. Though, there was other early version whereby, instead of the embroidered wings on the same position, a large GearMax Series label was on it.

OTHER MANUFACTURER There is a local popular maker of this specific pack design early on in various sizes whereby, a larger 5-Day version were also popular among the local armed forces elite units made by Tactics; incidentally started as a hobby and became an outfitter of the Philippine Navy’s elite NAVSOG Team Uno (Team One) and the Philippine Air Force 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing.

MISLABEL COPIES On the other hand, unknown maker copied this pack model with a little modification commercially available in most military camp’s concessionary milshops. Modification in terms of adding an elastic rigging cord in the front pocket but unfortunately, what could have been a nice variation actually, of this original classic design, I think was totally ruined by a CAMELBAK label visibly sewed up in front of the pack. Personally, I don’t like the idea as this definitely passed itself as fake Camelbak product and detrimental to the representation of our professional soldiers.

PROOF OF AUTHENTICITY Photo below of the Certificate of Appreciation presented to GEAR MAX during the 50th Anniversary of the unit for their “generous support and cooperation extended forwards the advancement of the Naval Special Operations Group”.

Proof of Authenticity

Bangladesh Navy Special Warfare Diving and Salvage (SWADS)

Posted in Frogmen from around the Globe on December 4, 2010 by stukaph

Bangladesh Navy Special Warfare Diving and Salvage Officers

I was at Hongkong International Airport’s pre-departure gate flying back to Dhaka. Alone, bored and trying to shake the blues of being away from home once again were temporarily kept back when I saw these two Bangladeshi Navy Officers taking the same flight to Dhaka. At first when I saw these gentlemen, it was nothing out of my usual respect for military men, aside from them being in their formal dress uniforms, I immediately noticed that both were carrying the same nice black packs.


My being always curious on anything to do with militaria gear, I started to pick good angles trying to figure out the make of this pack. And as soon as I saw the classic Freddy the Frog UDT/SEAL mascot, I almost leap with joy!!! Though, many of these Frogs shared the same captivated creature, this one is somehow distinct to ROK Navy Special Warfare that I saw before and indeed, it was!!

The cheerful Frog

One of them was very friendly and the other was quite reserved. I came to know during our conversation that both were in-transit from South Korea and just completed their Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in Republic of Korea Navy’s (ROKN) Special Warfare School. And I came to know as well that indeed the black packs were part of the items that they got and entitled to, after earning and the recognition to wear the distinctive ROKN badge/pin.


These proudly earned badges flashed with pride on their full dress uniforms.

Historically, Bangladesh military established a small NAVY commando to conduct underwater demolition, maritime operations during the Liberation War against West Pakistan in 1971. This specialized Navy commando unit became the forerunners of the current Special Warfare Diving and Salvage (SWADS). It is organized, trained and equipped along the lines of SEAL/UDT teams of the Republic of Korea and United States Navy SEAL. Hence, its officers and Instructors are sent to advance SEAL trainings in United States, Turkey and South Korea.

Sneak preview of the forerunners of Bangladeshi Frogmen.

More on them in separate article soon….

Before we departed, the friendly frog said that he documented all their daily activities, evolutions and experiences into his dairy; this will be his reference in his intention to write a book about it. Wish I come across this book someday as I regret to lose the contact number of this friendly officer.

SWADS Officers and Gentlemen

The two fine SWADS Officers and Gentlemen.

Photo taken after we finally picked our check-in stuff in Dhaka International Airport and went our separate ways.

Should these two officers came across this blog, I hope and wish one of them contact me to get in touch. I also want a signed copy of that book if ever.





Philippine NAVY SEAL “Hooyah” Ballcap

Posted in Philippine Naval Special Operations Group (Navsog) on November 20, 2010 by stukaph


RP SEAL "Hooyah" ballcap



Obsolete team items of the Philippine Naval Special Warfare Group (NSWG or better known now as NAVSOG). The ballcap shows a full color beautifully embroidered specwar frog, superimposed unto a flag of the Republic of the Philippines. Frogs are a reference to the U.S. Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) days of the original mascot (Freddy, the Frog).

The predecessor unit of the Philippine NSWG, the Underwater Operations Team or UOT  activated on 5th November 1956 was patterned after the fame U.S. Underwater Demolitions Team (UDT) of the WWII. Thus, its Unit similarities and the monicker “Frogman”; that implied to someone who is trained to dive or swim in a military capacity which can include combat.

And of course, for the sake of those unaccustomed visitors into this blog, HOOYAH is the war cry or battle cry commonly associated with the SEA, AIR and LAND warrior communities or the brotherhood of the world’s military SEAL units.


To note, the ballcap never actually kicked–off for widespread unit issue as the inception of this design came about after the Oakwood Event where some member of this elite unit were involved. As a result, rumors of the dire consequences for the whole NSWG unit abound.  Therefore, anything that connotes the “Frogman” was somehow restricted then; to maintain the unit’s low profile and lighten up the political pressures. Fortunately, the only known consequences was the changed of Unit’s official name, from then Special Warfare Group (SWAG) to the new and current Naval Special Warfare Group (NAVSOG).

In addition to this photo reference, some team patches as well. These came from the  same batch of the 2001 productions.

Silent Warriors

Posted in Philippine Naval Special Operations Group (Navsog) on August 8, 2008 by stukaph

Taken during Philippine Naval Special Warfare Group 50th anniversary at Sangley Point. Seal sniper and his Philippine Navy’s 3rd generation Marine Scout Sniper Rifle (MSSR). Among other items laid out during that exhibit was a Draeger Rebreather with a very unique Navsog’s tigerstripes cover. Also, on the far end as you can see from this photo is a small water-filled fish glass aquarium where they used to demo their MBITR by plunging the radio into it.

My friend aka combatcamote having chit chats with these silent warriors. With him (not shown) was another good friend aka Desert Rat. Both gentlemen enjoyed the show and the opportunities to meet the frogs, visited Frogmen’s store and an opportunity as well to check out various Navsog’s suppliers who had their respective stalls on the ground. These two guys sure did have a very Happy Camo Day!! Well, Desert Rat got me something too and sent it over. Thanks, you bloke! I owe you too many!

Philippine Seals' 50th Anniversary Open House

Philippine Seals' 50th Anniversary Open House

Photo: Philip Co