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TACTICAL OPERATIONS GROUP 10 (CAGAYAN DE ORO)

History

Like most units in Mindanao, the forerunner of Tactical Operations Group 10 emerged under the aegis of Martial Law in 1972. It underwent a series of changes in response to the growing need for military presence in Northern Mindanao, until it finally evolved into its present set up.

It was during the break-out of hostilities in the Mindanao, especially in two (2) Lanao Provinces when Presidential Decree 1081 was declared. Mindanao State University was overrun by secessionist groups resulting in the taking as hostage of the Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines. As the hostilities continued, the Philippine Air Force augmented its forces in the Mindanao with the creation of Regional Air Command in Mindanao widely known as RACMIN. The pioneers of this unit, who were all Air Force Specialists, arrived in Cagayan de Oro City on October 17 1972 and established its headquarters at Lumbia Airport. The group was spearheaded by then Colonel ANGEL OKOL JR with MAJOR RUBEN CRUZ as the operations officer.

Arrays of air weapons were brought by this group to include two (2) C-47 gunships and six (6) UH-1H helicopters, all mounted with missile launchers and M-60 machineguns. Along with these aircraft were the U-17 and U-6 assigned with the 4th PAF Detachment, a liaison squadron stationed at 4th Infantry Division Camp Evangelista that was attached to this command. The two (2) C-47 gunships conducted night missions at Lanao Lake area that deterred the enemy from ferrying supplies and personnel to and from the different points in the Lake Lanao area. These aircraft were also used in dropping flares at night in support of ground operations in Manawi, Buldon, Maguindanao.

RACMIN then became the core of air operations in Mindanao that included Zamboanga and the southern seaboards like Jolo and Tawi-Tawi.

In the late months of 1973, hostilities in the Central Mindanao areas erupted and the bulk of RACMIN personnel were transferred to Cotabato (at PC Hill) under the supervision of Central Mindanao Command (CEMCOM), which was then the lead AFP unit in the Central Mindanao. An Advance Command Post (ACP) was established at PC Hill, but a Rear Command Post (RCP) was retained at Cagayan de Oro. In the early months of 1974, hostilities continued to take place in the Southern regions of Mindanao. The Tarragona incident led to the final transfer of RACMIN Headquarters at Bangoy Airport in Davao City.

Since its creation, RACMIN had overseen the security of all airports within the Northern Mindanao Area. It was composed of personnel coming from various units of the Philippine Air Force. Security personnel were dispatched to the airports in Surigao, Tandag, Bislig, Butuan, Iligan, Malabang and Ozamis.

On 29 March 1976, RACMIN was dissolved and replaced by 3rd Air Division. Among its major units were 610th Composite Tactical Group covering the Western part of Mindanao and 620th Composite Tactical Group for Northern and Eastern Mindanao. Under 620th CTG was the 623rd Composite Tactical Squadron stationed at Lumbia Airport, Cagayan de Oro City, which absorbed all the personnel of RACMIN RCP. 623rd CTS was given the mission to secure the major airports of Northern Mindanao and to support air operations requirements in this area.

This Squadron was first commanded by then COL ANTONIO SALAS, PAF. On 27 June 1985, 623rd Composite Tactical Squadron was officially renamed as Composite Air Support Force 10 (CASF 10) effective 01 July 1985. The last 623rd CTS commander was MAJ ROLANDO SEVA and was then designated as the acting Officer-In-Charge of CASF 10. CASF 10 was created to provide air support and other operational requirements of Regional Unified Command (RUC) 10, presently the 4th Infantry Division, while the 623rd CTS was on purely base operations and garrison duty functions.

CASF 10 at that time was composed only of two (2) Officers and a handful of enlisted personnel. Higher Headquarters saw the need to increase the number of personnel in this unit in order to be more responsive to the demands of air operations in the area. This led to the abolition of 623rd CTS on 01 October 1987 and placing all its men under CASF 10 to complete the unit’s manning requirements. Its mission then was to provide tactical air support to the ground forces. With its outstanding accomplishments and performance of duty, CASF 10 was adjudged as Unit of the Year by 3rd Air Division and Best CASF of the Year by Southern Command respectively in 1998 under COL CHRISTIE B DATU (GSC) PAF as the Commander.

On 15 October 1998, the COMPOSITE TACTICAL GROUP 10 (CTG 10) was created. COL RAUL P VELOSO PAF became the first Group Commander and the last commander of CASF 10. It is under the 530th COMPOSITE TACTICAL WING, EAAB, Zamboanga City that replaced the 3rd Air Division effective 01 February 1999 as a result of the reorganization of the TACTICAL OPERATIONS COMMAND based at Mactan Benito Ebuen Air Base, Lapu-lapu City.

Then, on 01 February 2001, Composite Tactical Group 10 was renamed to Tactical Operations Group 10 (TOG 10). LTC ESTEBAN A CASTRO PAF was the first Group Commander of TOG 10 as well as the last Group Commander of CTG 10. TOG 10, composed of five (5) Officers, 55 EP and two (2) Civilian Employees, was placed under 3rd TACTICAL OPERATIONS WING after the abolition of 530th CTW. The Group bagged the PAF Model Group of the Year for CY 2000.