Operation Enduring Freedom Philippines
Special Operations Command, Pacific (SOCPAC) troops are the core of Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines (OEF-P), an operation which supports the Government of the Republic of the Philippines counterterrorism efforts.
With U.S. advice and training, the AFP and civilian authorities have improved their ability to coordinate and sustain counterterrorism operations. U.S. and Philippine forces have also worked together under the new Security Engagement Board framework – the primary mechanism for consultation and planning regarding non-traditional security threats – to complete humanitarian and civil assistance projects and improve living conditions in the southern Philippines.
As a result of their combined efforts, support for terrorists has waned markedly. Deployment first began January 2002 and involved more than 1,200 members of SOCPAC, headed by Brig. General Donald C. Wurster. SOCPAC's deployable joint task force HQ, Joint Task Force 510 (JTF 510), directed and carried out the operation.
The mission was to advise the Armed Forces of the Philippines in combating terrorism in the Philippines. Much of the mission (Exercise Balikatan 02-1) took place on the island of Basilan, a stronghold of Abu Sayyaf.