An attempt to make sense of things in a random universe, one Friday at a time.

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Leaving my footsteps for you to find and follow, my love.

15 March 2006


I got home very late last night smelling of sweat, dust and gunpowder from the Hell Week of the Urban Counter-Revolutionary Warfare Course being held at the Philippine National Police Special Action Force Training School in Fort Sto. Domingo, Silang, Cavite. The course, also called Sureshock, runs for four months, and Hell Week is the final gruelling week where the participants perform some of the most mentally, psychologically, and physically difficult exercises, made more difficult by the requirement that they not sleep at all.

Let me tell you, it's a killer. Twice a day runs of thirty kilometers per run, in fatigues, combat boots, and full firing gear, and sometimes carrying another person in a stretcher. Full immersion in water and then hours of physical exercises imediately afterwards. Tactical planning for various crisis cases. Raids and close quarter combats. Intelligence work in preparation for the different kinds of assaults. Sniping. Endurance firing. Rest is only for a few minutes a day, and there's no sleep.

It's a killer.

Needless to say, I haven't been living my usual cerebral, contemplative, sheltered life where I spend my days reading and writing in air-conditioned, broadbanded comfort. But I feel comfortable in my new environment, which is strange. I never planned my career to go this way, but here I am, writing for the PNP Special Action Force. I didn't even need to adjust much. I was like fish thrown to water.

Perhaps because this is an entirely different world of fresh new material for me. The terminologies for Sureshock alone makes me feel giddy. The details of this world, the sound of it, the smell, the texture, is fascinating. The smell of steel and gunpowder, the eye zeroing in on the target, the delicious eternal moment between trigger slack and squeeze, the feel of the pistol recoiling in the hand -- sheer poetry. There is perfection in the seconds-long execution of a high-risk vehicle assault, an assult that takes hours of planning, rehearsals, reconnaissance, and weeks and weeks of intelligence work. The firearms, the targets, the concise raids and invasions of a series of kidnap-for-ransom hideouts really sweep me away. I just lose myself and become material. I dissolve under the fierce sun, my ears ringing at the loud shots, my arms hurting from the handling of the firearms, my lungs breathing in dust and fiery air, my mind on nothing but the goal.



Blogger Sidney said...

So, the real Maryanne Moll is the one with the gun...! ;-)

3:47 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Yep. Me against the baddies. :)

7:05 PM  
Anonymous edward_lasker said...

It just amazes me how the SAF was able to recruit you (or were you just a "guest" during Sureshock?) Nevertheless, its refreshing to know that the PNP has a brilliant writer in their midst.. As a police officer myself, I must admit the the words "PNP" and "brilliance" is an oxymoron..with notable exceptions of course.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

one of the exceptions being the SAF. Thanks, edward_lasker. i'm not a recruit. they're just making a SAF Trooper out of me so I can write properly about their world.

thanks for visiting.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Migs Villanueva said...

Urban Counter-Revolutionary Warfare Course!!!

9:10 AM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...


hi, migs!

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bok for years we've been fighting fellow Filipinos. Pagod na ko. Sayang ang sureshock. Sana mas intensive training for peace and order.

5:49 AM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

bok yung sureshock kasi training yun for the striking forces. yung units naman na for peace and order may training din sila for peace and order. papasok lang yung striking forces pag nag fail yung negotiations for peace and order.

nagfefail nga, which explains the presence of the saf. pero hindi kasalanan ng sureshock yan. kung walang sureshock the damage would have been so much worse.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Maryanne. You've been to all of Sureshock? Ang galing mo naman!! Ang Sureshock ba is for CRG ATU students lang ba? o entire CRG (or SAF)? Nag Special AntiTerrorist Course (tama ba? yung next level after ng UCRW Course) ka din ba?

Great post, btw!

Jimmy :)

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello seems you know everything about sureshock.i've undergone sureshock training and its not only for four months but its 7months.baka ung nakita mo e swat training lang.but anyway thanks for appreciating the course.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Hello, Anonymous. I think you misunderstood. I did not know everything about Sureshock, because I said in the post that I attended only Hell Week.

No, this was not the SWAT Training. As I said in my post as well, this was Sureshock, a training administered by the PNP-SAF in 2005. I attended Hell Week as advised by my boss then, General Alarcio, and I wrote about it in the Force and Valor Magazine afterwards. (The magazine is the official publication of the PNP-SAF book project.) It's too strange for me to make a mistake that big and glaring, don't you think?

Maybe you're talking about the Commando Course, which teaches CQB as a module. Or maybe you're talking about the Sureshock now, which I heard is longer. The post is from 2006.

Thanks for visiting.

11:12 AM  
Blogger wolv3s said...

hi po. Im glad that
you appreciated our class
even for that short spand of time, now we're using it to bring peace to our land/heart.

to my senior, anonymous hope your flexible enough to understand that our unit are always subject for change, specially our enemy our more advance but i assure you that by skill and virtues we triumph...

4:25 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Thanks, wolv3s.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous country defender said...

hi,i!m also a graduate of ucrwc(sureshock) belong to cl 46 maalab class of mindanao, which administered solely by an elite PNP saf,its my honor to be part of prestigious anti terrorist course preferably to counter enemy of the state,whooaaa.sureshock family.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maryanne Moll...nakakatuwa ka fiancee is now on training of Sureshock,,,sobrang pagod lage nya...pero sulit daw..kasi un ung gusto nya..and after ko mabasa ng sinulat mo about Sureshock...lalo ako naging Proud sa Kanya

5:02 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

I'm glad I'm able to make you appreciate this training. Our troops really need moral support from their loved ones. Do keep supporting him and continue to make him feel loved and needed.

Thanks for dropping by.

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi miss mary anne. Im a police officer.. your post about sureshock is very helpful. not all of us within the PNP community knew that this course existed. some of us would generally categorize sureshock graduates as SAF commandos.. but now i know that its a module program hosted by SAF.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Glad to be of help! :)

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello ma'am its me again. i'm interested to to be trained in SURESHOCK. hopefully after my mandatory PNP SCOUT training we can freely choose our next advancement course. I hope you can give me some idea.

I really wanted to be a SWAT operator in the future. I want SURESHOCK to be my foundation before taking up SWAT course.

Thanks po

PS.. i dont like commando course. i struggled/Messed up my waterborne subject in SCOUT because i cant Swim

9:53 AM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Hello again. From what I know, I don't think you can take Sureshock without Commando. In the SAF there are four major trainings required for you to earn the right to wear the pixelized SAF uniform and the merit badges (before that, you have to wear the old SAF camouflage). The four required trainings are Commando, Sureshock, Airborne, and Waterborne. But the Commando is the first trainings required. After that, you can take the other three trainings in any order. Those four are so important that they even comprise the entire SAF logo. The tabak stands for Commando. The crosshairs stand for Sureshock. The water stands for Waterborne, and the wings stand for Airborne. Those four can earn your right to wear the full SAF uniform in the authorized SAF fabric, with complete merit badges. This is how it is in the SAF, if you are a SAF Trooper. However, I don't know how the other PNP units deal with their training requirements. Maybe there's a modified Sureshock training in your current unit, but it won't earn you the same merit badge as the one from the SAF.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a member of UCRWC CL18-93 roster number 28...

5:51 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Thanks for dropping by.

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good day maryanne!i really admire the PNP-SAF,on how they handle critical situation like "Bicutan Siege and Manila Pen Siege"i also like how they trained to pin down an enemy in just 1.2 seconds at 7 mtrs...thats what SURESHOCK is all about.mabuhay ang mga SAF!!!

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello po.. so you were that mystery lady we were curious about during the 2006 UCRWC CL ____ training. was hell... but it was all worth of the most cherished among other trainings I is the kind of training i would gladly undergo again if i had to...the skills one can learn from it are all timely nowadays...and u need to upgrade that skill as often as possible...

8:44 PM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Hello! Yes, that was me. Thanks for dropping by my blog. :)

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Brutus said...

Nice to know that someone from the outside world had a glimpse or should i say had a taste of the commandos way of life. The PNP SAF is not just an organization, it is a family. Our gratitude to you mam in behalf of 96-01 thank you so much. If you wouldn't mind, I would like to share your blog about sureshock in group pages of the TAGALIGTAS Family. MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU

8:07 AM  
Blogger Maryanne Moll said...

Thanks, Brutus. Please go ahead and share. My regards to the boys!

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ang ganda naman ng Blog mo salamat po :)

9:27 PM  

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