In Southeast Asia, the Philippines operates a fleet of about 185 Commandos in the V-150 variant.

On the modern battlefield, the Gage Commando is largely obsolete. However, it still serves in many smaller forces, such as the Army of Southeast Asian Nations, and some African nations. The Cadillac Gage Commando, also known as the M706, designed in 1962, is still quite useful in minor conflicts and against insurgents. In Southeast Asia, the Philippines operates a fleet of about 185 Commandos in the V-150 variant.

Gage Commando was proven in the Vietnam battlefield. It was engineered by Cadillac Gage specifically for the United States Military Police Corps during the Vietnam War as an armed convoy escort vehicle. The Commando was one of the first vehicles to combine the traditionally separate roles of an armored personnel carrier and a conventional armored car, much like the Soviet BTR-40. Its notable height, amphibious capability, and waterproofed engine allowed American crews to fight effectively in the jungles of Vietnam by observing their opponents over thick vegetation and fording the country’s deep rivers.

Commando was produced in 3 variants: V-100, V-150 and V-200. The vehicle could be outfitted for many roles, including armored personnel carrier, ambulance, firefighter, anti-tank vehicle, mortar carrier, etc. The V-150 was a hybrid variant which actually came after the V-200 and was based on the V-200 but had some V-100 features. Unlike the V-200, all V-150s retained the same size and dimensions of the earlier V-100s; however, they were manufactured with heavier axles and modified suspension units. The V-150’s hull was also designed specifically to carry heavier weapons systems, such as large smoothbore guns for fire support and anti-tank purposes.

The V-150 Commando is a rugged 4×4 wheeled vehicle that could achieve speeds of up to 70 mph. The watertight hull was fully amphibious and needed no preparation for swimming or fording. The vehicle’s engine compartment was on the left side in the rear. A fire-extinguishing system was provided, which could be operated by the driver. The vehicle carries a maximum crew of 12.

The V-150 series was available in numerous configurations. A variety of armament stations could be installed, including most light and medium automatic weapons, missile systems, mortars, and cannons up to 90mm. The V-150 vehicles were exported to some 25 countries. In the Philippines, the V-150 was quite prominent in 2017, when several photos appeared on social media of a vehicle with heavy wooden planks and flattened ammunition crates were applied as improvised armour against ISIL insurgents in the southern islands. The effectiveness of the improvised vehicle armour against proper rocket-propelled grenades is doubtful, but it has been judged to reduce some of the RPG’s damage.


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