As it is told, the speed of the leader determines the rate of the pack! With a flamboyant and resolute Commandant, ADMIRAL Wilfredo D Tamayo, the Coast Guard Special Operations Group (CGSOG) could not afford to slow down. Its fleet of rubber boats is always warmed up and the legs of its frogmen are always in shape. Its distinguished lead officers are always on alert to receive direct instructions from the Fleet Commander or the Commandant himself.
Taking the cue from the innovative character of the Commandant, who seems to grasp fully well the two great laws of life: “Growth and Decay”, the CGSOG slowly restructure and comes up with dynamic innovations to showcase its relevance to the general public. On several occasions, the Commandant pointed out that the PCG has evolved into a multi-tasked, multi faceted and multi-roled organization. The changes or “growth” as we may consider of course are not mere capricious whims but rather natural forces adhered to, otherwise “decay” would engulf our organization. These pronouncements have inspired the Group to come up with its innovative programs and be critical with it coined and adopted motto “Semper Superne Nitens” which simply means “always striving upwards.
Restructuring and Reorganizing the SOG. The need for reorganization in the Philippine Coast Guard was best detailed in the manuscript entitled “PCG Rationalization for CY-2007” There, the Secretary of DOTC signed a memorandum which serves as the guidelines to effect the rationalization plan of the PCG organization and TOE. Laid down as its basis, the Executive Order No. 366 dated October 2004, a presidential directive for all agencies of the Executive Branch to review respective mandates, missions, objectives, functions, programs, projects, systems and procedures and identifying areas for improvement within Departments and government agencies. In line with this, the CGSOG submitted a Three (3) Year Master Plan for CY 2009-2011, an aggressive but doable master plan focusing primarily on improving organizational structure and the needed facilities and equipment for the Group.
The Group has identified four major areas of concerns were it is expected to deliver, these are; Search and Rescue, Counter-Terrorism, Explosive Ordinance Disposal, and Training. These major areas of concerns are the primordial factors that will particularly in TRAINING and EQUIPMENT enhancement.
In summary, the restructuring and reorganization sought by this Group includes; a) upgrading of SOG detachments to Special Operations Unit (SOU); b) creation of Type Units (EOD, SARU, SOG School) to cater on the four major areas of concerns following the creation of the CG Anti-Terrorism Unit as Counter Terrorism Unit as Counter Terrorist Focused Group; c) Career Pattern for Officer’s and EP; d) Policy on the Utilization and Deployment of CGSOG personnel; e) Doctrines Development on SOG operations.
The desired facility and equipage recommended to be included in the PCG Plans and Programs are the following: a) billeting, training site, bomb storage, slip way; b) Basic Diving Equipment; c) Deep Diving Systems; d) Underwater Communications; e) Counter-Terrorism Equipment; f) EOD Equipment; g) SAR equipment; h) Mobility for Both land and water.
Innovative Program. As the motto suggests, the CGSOG would like to pursue other technical skills related to deep diving such as use of surface supplied diving system, nitrox diving, and tri-mixed gas and intensive rescue course. These are just among the innovative programs from the Group aggressively pursues. This also includes compliance to RA 1792 which calls for integration of women as equal partners of men in nation building. Thus, the SOG now opens its door for female counter parts to train for projected Rescue Diver Course. Formal requests for training on airborne, sniper course and the female rescue divers course are already on process. Underwater works such as welding, thickness gauging, and hull inspection were also considered for possible specialized training. The chief program initiator for most of this innovative project is the Deputy Commander of the Group.
In a jest, the words “always striving upwards” does not only connotes keeping ones head afloat in order not to drown oneself in survival swimming, but more importantly, in its deepest sense, your Coast Guard SOG selected the motto foremost express its aspiration for reform efficiency and better service to the public. It aims to advocate among its members that unrelenting passion to always strive to be the best, either individually or even working as a small team during actual operations. It seeks to develop a culture of excellence among the “Frogs Family”.
Other than the usual HOOYAHH, the CGSOG will now will now chant “Semper Superne Nitens”!!!