Type Special Forces
|Branch Philippine Army|
|Active February 1, 2004 - 2008 (LRB)
2008 - 2013 (LRC)
2014 - Present (LRR)|
Role Direct Action, Counter-Terrorism Reconnaissance, Unconventional Warfare, Hostage Rescue
The Light Reaction Regiment is the lead counter-terrorist unit of the Philippine Army. It was formerly known as the Light Reaction Battalion and Light Reaction Company. Its creation was primarily credited to a $25 million grant by the US Department of State used for the regiment's formation.
The Light Reaction Regiment can trace its origins back to the year 2000 when non-commissioned officers from the Scout Rangers and Philippine Army Special Forces were trained by American military advisers from the 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group. From February to July 2001, American special forces trained and raised the former LRC with further training during the 2002 Balikatan exercises, whose members were first drawn from the Scout Rangers and 1st Special Forces Regiment. After days and years of training under American instructors, the LRC was officially activated on February 1, 2004 and was tasked to be deployed into Mindanao in order to combat Abu Sayyaf Group terrorists responsible for abducting several foreign hostages, with the unit conducting an operation to rescue Gracia Burnham from Abu Sayyaf terrorists. Further exercises had been conducted during the 2006 Balikatan exercises. The LRB had been involved in a rescue operation conducted on a kidnapped Italian priest by armed men in 2007.
The unit had recently been involved in the aftermath of the Manila Peninsula rebellion, where they had been deployed to Manila to deter any other coup attempts. In addition, LRB forces have been deployed to Mindanao to conduct anti-terrorist operations in the region.
The unit was renamed the LRB from the former Light Reaction Company to adapt to the increase in the unit's manpower and to pursue Anti-Terrorist duties in the Philippines. In 2014, the unit was again renamed into the Light Reaction Regiment due to its heroic stand in Zamboanga in September 2013. Its elevation to a full regiment was formally sanctioned by Defense Secretary Gazmin on January 16, 2014.