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A total of 66 candidates composed of personnel from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Maritime Group started the six-month gruelling training as two courses of the Coast Guard Special Operations Force (CGSOF) were convened yesterday, 11 December 2018.

CGSOF commenced training for the Coast Guard Special Operations Course (CGSOC) Class 28-2018 composed of 40 PCG personnel and 16 personnel from the PNP-Maritime Group. The CGSOC will have to go through various phases for six months involving physical conditioning and the arduous hell week for five days, occupational SCUBA, technical diving, hydrographical reconnaissance, demolition, air to ground operations, small unit tactics and marksmanship.

Meanwhile, 10 PCG personnel will undergo the Counter Terrorism Course (CTC) Class 10-2018. All candidates have already completed the Basic Underwater Special Operations Course of the PCG as a prerequisite in taking the CTC. Aspirants will undergo three-months rigid training on gun safety; close quarter combat; immediate action drill; small unit tactics; vessel, board, search and seizure; combat swimming; air to ground mission planning; crisis management; tactical combat casualty care; land navigation; weaponry; basic rifle marksmanship; and explosive ordnance reconnaissance agent.

All the students undertook the reception rites at Coast Guard Base Farola in Muelle dela Industria, Farola Compound, Binondo, Manila.

The ceremony was graced by Captain Edgardo T Hernando PCG, the Commander of Coast Guard Special Operations Force. Captain Hernando expressed his gratitude to the PNP Maritime Group for choosing to undergo training with the PCG.

The students will be transferred in CGSOF Training Facility Annex in Nakar, Quezon, which is donated by the local government of Nakar.

The Philippine Coast Guard's Special Operations Force (CGSOF) is the special forces unit of the Philippine Coast Guard which has been instrumental in performing underwater operations, domestic counter-terrorism and other law enforcement operations.