40th Infantry Battalion
The mission of the 40th Infantry Battalion, "Magiting," is to conduct prompt and sustained ground operations in support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines mission. Specifically, the Battalion operates in an active defense posture to conducts internal security operations in order to establish a physically and psychologically secured environment conducive to development and progress in the AOR.
The 40th Infantry Battalion was formally activated on 1 March 1975, pursuant to General Orders Number 343, General Headquarters, Armed Forces of the Philippines, dated 17 February 75. The activation was in response to the MNLF insurgency and the emergence of the NPA in Mindanao. The unit was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division at Camp Overton, Suarez, Iligan City. The unit then redeployed to various locations in Mindanao between 1975 and 1978. It also deployed to Basilan as part of a SOUTHCOM task force.
Between 1979 and 1981, the 40th Infantry Battalion conducted combat operations in Zamboanga del Norte and Lanao del Sur Provinces. The combat operations were complemented by civil-military operations. In 1982, the unit earned a distinct honor after arresting numerous NPA commanders and their followers in Misamis Occidental. Between 1985 and early 1986, the unit's effort was concentrated in Lanao del Norte, where its pacification campaign, highlighted by massive CMO programs, resulted to the capture and surrender of 750 NPA members.
When the 1st Infantry Division assumed command of Northern Mindanao, the 40th Infantry Battalion moved from Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte. On 19 July 1986, the Battalion moved to Camp Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro City for retraining. This lasted from 25 August 1986 until 21 September 1986. On 30 Sep 1986 the unit moved and occupied a portion of Agusan del Sur.
On 8 February 1987, the Battalion moved to Davao del Norte to assume control of the municipalities of Maco, Mabini, New Corella, Northern Tagum, and the western portion of Pantukan. The Battalion headquarters was located at Tuburan, Mawab, Davao del Norte. The unit was placed under the operational control of the 12th Infantry Brigade (Separate) on 16 April 1987, pursuant to General Orders Number 146, Headquarters, Philippine Army dated 17 April 1987. On 27 September 1987, the Battalion headquarters was transferred to Poblacion, Monkayo, Davao del Norte. Then on 30 June 1989, the battalion headquarters once again transferred to Nia Compound in Tagum, Davao del Norte. On 14 April 1990, the Battalion transferred to Monkayo, Davao del Norte. The unit also controled a total of 9 CAA companies to complement the effort of its organic companies.
On 9 July 1994, the unit moved to Brgy Semba, Dinaig, Maguindanao for retraining. While doing so the unit was called back into action in order to meet a developing situation in the 6th Infantry Division's AOR. One company was sent to Davao del Norte and Agusan del Sur to participate in combat operations. This company was later redeployed to Kiblawan, Davao del Sur to conduct further operations. The rest of the Battalion responded to disruption of the malmar irrigation project construction site in Carmen, North Cotabato by anti-government groups.
On 7 January 1995, the unit took over operations against anti-government groups within the tri-boundary area between South Cotabato, Davao del Sur, North Cotabato and the Province of South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat. Between late 1995 and early 1996, sporadic fighting escalated and erupted into a full blown war in Sultan Sa Barongis. The 40th Infantry Battalion was deployed during in the marshlands of Kabasalan-Butilin-Pulangi Complex.
On 7 April 1996, the unit moved to Ladtingan, with an AOR covering the municipalities of Pikit, Cotabato, Pagalungan and Pagagawan, Maguindanao, as well as one barangay in Aleosan. Significant activities included the capture of Camp Rajah Muda on 20 june 1997, the freeing of 80 civilian hostages in Tibao, M'lang in november 1999, and the recapture of Camp Rajah Muda in June 2000. on 18 September 2000 the 40th Infantry Battalion engaged a numerically superior MILF force in a firefight lasting multiple hours, resulting in numerous MILF casualties and the recovery of weapons.
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