In 2000, the US and Philippine governments, along with several military groups, began planning to establish a counterterrorism (CT) force in the Philippines. This CT force, initially called the Light Reaction Company (LRC) and later the Light Reaction Regiment (LRR), underwent several changes and expansions, endured a scandal, and was integral to various operations in the region. The LRR, currently composed of one Headquarters and six Light Reaction Companies, has a dedicated role in counterterrorism, special operations, and unconventional warfare. Its personnel undergo intensive training, and they are equipped with a variety of advanced weaponry.
- The planning to organize, train, and equip the Philippines’ own Counter Terrorism (CT) force started in 2000, involving both US and Philippine military groups, and was reinforced following the 9/11 attacks.
- The LRR underwent several transformations, including name changes and an increase in the number of companies, reaching a combat strength of 600 operators. The U.S. Counterterrorism Train and Equip Program supported this force with substantial resources.
- In 2008, a scandal involving potential civilian killings occurred within the LRR, revealing an issue with unreliable informants trying to exploit ongoing operations for personal gain.
- The LRR, stationed in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija, consists of one Headquarters and six Light Reaction Companies, with a doctrine focusing on Counterterrorism, Special Operations, and Unconventional Warfare.
- Rigorous selection and training processes are followed for the LRR personnel, covering multiple domains from combat life-saving procedures to advanced combat marksmanship. Candidates must be Special Forces or Scout Ranger-qualified and have at least two years in combat deployment.