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Fort Ramon Magsaysay
Palayan, Nueva Ecija
Fortmagsaysay22jf 01.JPG
Type Military Base
Coordinates Latitude: 15.438
Longitude: 121.091
Concrete, Steel
Controlled by Philippine Army
Garrison 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division
Special Operations Command (Philippines)
Army Aviation Battalion (PA)
Combat Arms School (PA)
Army Training Command (PA)

Fort Ramon Magsaysay, also known as Fort Magsaysay or Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation (FMMR), or Fort Mag, is the largest Military Reservation in the Philippines, and is one of the key training areas of the Philippine Army. Fort Magsaysay is located in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija.

History[edit | edit source]

Philippine Marines armed with a 5.56 mm M16A1 rifles set up an assault line, while participating in Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP) training at Fort Magsaysay, Philippines, during Exercise BALIKATAN 2004.

On Dec 10, 1955, President Ramon Magsaysay, through Proclamation 237 created the 73,000-hectare base centered in Laur, Palayan.[1] The reservation covers portions of the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, and Aurora. The reservation is to be used for military training and live fire exercises.

In its infancy Fort Magsaysay hosted the Army Training Command (ATC). The ATC provided basic training for enlisted personnel and officers and advanced training in some specialties such as infantry and artillery.[2]

As one of the main training grounds of the Philippine Army, Fort Magsaysay hosted the Training & Doctrine Command (TRADOC) a couple of times in its history. Currently, TRADOC is located in Camp O'Donnell, but majority of the field exercises are conducted in Fort Magsaysay.

During Martial Law, Ninoy Aquino and other members of the opposition were incarcerated in Fort Magsaysay.[3][4]

In 1991, Mt. Pinatubo's eruption has burdened the Philippine government to relocate some of the residents of the volcano. Fort Magsaysay was chosen as one of the relocation sites. Almost two decades later, the Philippine Army remains at conflict with tenant farmers, as the latter have been ordered evicted from the military reservation.[5] Fort Magsaysay's vast tracts of land has time and again attracted a number of claimants - without escaping controversy.[6][7][8] In some occasions, illegal loggers have found their way into the reservation.[9][10]

On 2012 September 21, President Benigno S. Aquino III led the observance of the 40th anniversary by opening the Aquino-Diokno Memorial, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Center for Human Rights Dialogue inside Fort Magsaysay and the museum-replica of the 1973 detention facility of Ninoy (Codenamed: Alpha) and Diokno (Codenamed: Delta).[2][3]

At present, Fort Magsaysay, along with the Crow Valley Range Complex in Pampanga, provides the Armed Forces of the Philippines and allied nations ample training grounds in modern jungle warfare in large unit formation. The RP-US 2009 BALIKATAN exercises for one was commenced at Fort Magsaysay.[11]

Description[edit | edit source]

Fort Magsaysay Airfield
Airport type Military
Operator Philippine Army
Location Fort Magsaysay, Palayan, Nueva Ecija
Elevation AMSL 75.85 m / 248.85 ft
Coordinates 15°26′02″N 121°05′14″E / 15.43389°N 121.08722°E / 15.43389; 121.08722
Direction Length Surface
m ft
23L/05R 1,600 5,249 Asphalt

Fort Magsaysay can be reached through the Bangad-Fort Magsaysay Road or through the Sta. Rosa-Fort Magsasay Road. The original 73,000 hectares military reservation has been reduced to 35,000 hectares after seven presidential proclamations. Despite this reduction, the sprawling base reaches all the way to the Pacific Ocean, over the Siera Madre Mountains, with 12 kilometers of coastline.[13]

The Department of Defense's plans to expand and modernize the Philippine Army, Fort Magsaysay has been designated as the AFP's National Training Center (NTC). The NTC's mission is to upgrade and train at battalion level. In a period of 6 years, more than 72 Army Battalions and 12 Marine Battalions have gone through the NTC's program at Fort Magsaysay.[14]

Fort Magsaysay is also the only Philippine Army base that boast its own runway, apron, aircraft maintenance, and air control facilities. The Philippine Army operates Cessna CE172 Skyhawk and CE421 from Fort Magsaysay.

Fort Magsaysay also has its own Rest & Recreation facility called Pahingahan Complex. ("Pahingahan" is the Filipino word for "a place of rest.") The R&R facility is located on the shores of a man-made lake in the base. Soldiers and tourists can also enjoy kayaking and hiking in the nearby trails.

Current facilities on base are:

  • 650 m firing range
  • 500 m firing range
  • 150 m firing range
  • 100 m firing range
  • Fort Magsaysay Army Station Hospital (FMASH)
  • 5249 ft. runway & apron
  • Officer's Club
  • R&R Facilities (Pahingahan Complex)
  • Stockade
  • Army Store[15]
  • AFP Transient Facilities[16]

Current units garrisoned in Fort Magsaysay:

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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