Philippine Army Activates Operations Research Center

The five-month long battle in Marawi between the government forces and ISIS-Maute Group is considered to be one of the longest and memorable battles in the recent history of the Philippine Army. It is a victory of the Philippine Army against the spread of violent extremism and destruction of IS-inspired terrorist group. In this battle, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) discovered new techniques and innovations in engaging with the enemy especially because the AFP is not used to fight in urban terrains. The Army organization also realized that there is a need to update or revise some of the directives and policies written in current manuals since some may not be relevant due to evolving concept of modern warfare.

Due to these concerns, and in accordance to the vision of the Philippine Army to become a world class Army, the organization found it necessary to create a study group that is tasked to write about the whole Marawi Experience. As a result, Operations Research Center was activated to answer to this need.

Lieutenant Colonel Jo-Ar A. Herrera, ORC Director, describes the office as “Data Manager” of the Philippine Army. The mandate of the center is to document significant data and information in Army operations by conducting research, managing data and producing handbooks for the organization to keep up with changes in the manner of Army operations.

The first project of the center under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Jo-Ar A. Herrera is to document the Battle of Marawi Lessons. The goal is to come up with a number of handbooks, each covering a specific war fighting function containing the best practices, challenges encountered, lessons learned and recommendations of different organizations within the Philippine Army.

Since the activation of ORC on 16 November 2017, the team of ORC had already conducted several activities not only to enhance the skills of its researchers in research writing, but also to help them come up with reliable and credible handbooks that would be beneficial to the Philippine Army and its future operations.

(In photo: LTC JO-AR A HERRERA (INF) PA delivering his message during the activation of Operations Research Center and his assumption as ORC Director.)