1] AFPCGSC ‘Soars High On Wings’ Of Roadmap
with the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ ‘paradigm shift’ from internal security focus to territorial defense and in the light of the recent territorial conflicting claims/ developments in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) ---and in conjunction with the strategic objectives of the Revised AFP Modernization Program --- the AFP Command and General Staff College, under the able leadership of its Commandant, MAJOR GENERAL VIRGILIO O DOMINGO AFP, is on the move to fulfill the objectives of its own College Roadmap ---- which envisions the AFPCGSC as the Philippine military establishment’s finest higher military school in the country and in the future years, highly-regarded as globally-competitive Philippine military institution and meet the demands of national defense challenges and global security needs in this modern period of our history which we call “Information Age”.
No less than the AFPCGSC Commandant, MGEN DOMINGO AFP, pointed out during his assumption speech of the Command last 01 August 2012 that the College shall always do its very best to meet the demands of the AFP for higher command and staff responsibilities --- hence, the training and education of its student-officers must be attuned to realistic challenges -- reflecting both realities, revolutions and constant changes in the national and in the global security environment.
The Commandant, who always believes in the commitment and capacities of his staff and his men and women, added the College cannot remain static and shall make some necessary adjustments, and if necessary do some vital sacrifices to meet the demands of higher command leadership needs of the AFP in the present and future times.
`For info, the AFPCGSC is the highest military school in the AFP, and in the country in general. The College is tasked with the mission “to educate selected AFP officers for higher command and staff responsibilities and propagate Philippine military history”. The institution also envisions itself as “a world-class institution for academic excellence for higher military education”.
The AFP Roadmap was conceptualized and instituted with the vision to………………………………………………………………………
The AFPCGSC Commandant is constantly rallying his men and women in the College to never lose sight of the “BIG PICTURE” that every contributions they do everyday and every “little way of goodness” they selflessly volunteer for the College will spell out the realization and fulfillment of the AFPCGSC Roadmap goals and long-term strategic objectives and contribute to the AFP mission in general.
2] Colonel Vinoya assumes CS, AFPCGSC post; as Colonel Felix heads College's JCTC:
NEW LEADERS in the Armed Forces of the Philippines Command and General Staff College emerged with the assumption of COLONEL ERIC C VINOYA PA (GSC) as the new Chief of Staff, AFPCGSC, vice the former CS of the Command, COLONEL ROY T DEVESA PA (GSC), as COLONEL SIMEON Z FELIX PAF (GSC) was appointed as the new head, Joint and Combined Training Center (JCTC) of the College, replacing the former head of the Center, COLONEL REYNALDO CELZO A LANUZO PA (GSC) during the joint change of office and command ceremony held 021000HAugust2013 at the College’s Maniego Hall, wherein no less than the Commandant, MAJOR GENERAL VIRGILIO O DOMINGO AFP, presided over said activity.
The outgoing Chief of Staff, COLONEL DEVESA PA (GSC) thanked the Commandant, MAJOR GENERAL VIRGILIO O DOMINGO AFP, “for the opportunity and privilege” to serve with the College, including the Commandant’s full “trust and confidence on me” during his stint as chief of staff.
Looking forward, the former CS, AFPCGSC COLONEL DEVESA PA (GSC) pointed out in his farewell speech “I am confident that the AFPCGSC is in good hands……and we hope to see an AFP that is better than we have right now”.
Meanwhile, COLONEL VINOYA PA (GSC), the new chief of staff of the Command, expressed confidence in his assumption message that he would continue those good things started by the former CS but admitted “there are still lots of things to be done”. The new CS requested the men and women of the Command to “please cooperate with me as I (as your new chief of staff) need your support”.
The new CS, AFPCGSC added “rest assured that I would continue the march (forward) for our (collective) vision of a world-class AFPCGSC”.
COLONEL FELIX PA (GSC), new head of the College’s JCTC, also vowed to do his best and contribute to the common objective and vision (of the AFPCGSC) to be a world-class institution for higher military education.
“Give your best to the AFPCGSC and always give me feedback,” MGEN DOMINGO AFP, ended in his message as the presiding officer of the said change of leadership activity.
3] Colonel Valdez is New Command IG; Colonel Pulido designated H, RSSC
ANOTHER SET of new leaders emerged in the Armed Forces of the Philippines Command and General Staff College with the designation of COLONEL MELCHOR L VALDEZ PAF (GSC) as the new Command Inspector General, replacing the former CIG, COLONEL LUIS H LIMUACO PA (GSC) as COLONEL PAUL POMPEYO M DARIO JR PA (GSC), the former head of the College’s Research and Special Studies Center was replaced by COLONEL JOHN DOMINIQUE B PULIDO PA (GSC) as the new head of the said Center.
The joint change of command and chief of office ceremony happened last 151000HAugust2013 at the Maniego hall with the Assistant Commandant, CAPTAIN JORGE F AMBA PN (GSC), as the presiding officer.
The former CIG, AFPCGSC, COL LIMUACO PA (GSC) thanked the Commandant for his trust and confidence on him during his stint as inspector general of the Command, as he expressed confidence that his successor, COLONEL VALDEZ PAF (GSC), is very qualified leader to assume the said Command position.
Meanwhile, former head of the RSSC COLONEL DARIO JR PA (GSC) also thanked MAJOR GENERAL VIRGILIO O DOMINGO AFP, for the Commandant’s trust and confidence on him which he relayed through the Assistant Commandant, CAPTAIN AMBA PN (GSC), who presided over the turn-over ceremony.
4] College Holds “International Day”;
Foreign CGSC Class 58 Studes ‘Featured’
IN THE SPIRIT of friendship and goodwill, the foreign student-officers of the Command and General Staff Course Class (Number) 58
of the AFP Command and General Staff College were given their privilege and opportunity in the “International Day” last 280830H August 2013 at the College’s Manipula Hall wherein the said foreign students taking up the CGSC were given the chance to showcase their country, their culture, geography, arts, peoples, feelings and attitudes and other significant information of the countries featured ----- all for the purpose of better understanding and foster/enhance defense cooperation and exchanges with the allied countries.
The foreign student-officers who each prepared and presented briefings/presentations about their countries and peoples are from the Philippines’ Allied Nations: Australia, Indonesia, South Korea, and lastly, Malaysia. The first international military student (IMS) to present was our student-officer from the Australian Defense Forces, MAJOR KATE HOLBECK AUSTRALIAN ARMY (AA) who emphasized that Australia is originally-British (its colonizers are from Great Britain), not Americans, as commonly perceived by some. Following Australia are Indonesian Armed Forces student-officers, namely: MAJOR ARIE SULANJANA INDONESIAN AIR FORCE (IAF), MAJOR MUH HATTAH INDONESIAN ARMY (IA) LT COMMANDER LUCAS IDAMAN KARUNA MELIALA INDONESIAN NAVY (IN) who had shown a short video documentary about their country’s defense forces saying “we (Indonesian military forces) are not the number one but we always train”.
Meanwhile, Republic of South Korea (ROK) student-officer MAJOR AHN HAEWON (ROK) AIR FORCE (ROKAF), who said it is the character/attitude of the Koreans not to hesitate, they have solidarity and they “generally do not want to wait that long”, was joined by his family on stage: his wife and two daughters who spoke in Filipino language in their short speech ----- to the amazement of the entire audience/attendees which include concerned AFPCGSC staff officers and chiefs of offices led by the Commandant, MAJOR GENERAL VIRGILIO O DOMINGO AFP who is joined also by the Assistant Commandant, CAPTAIN JORGE F AMBA PN (GSC) and the Chief of Staff, COLONEL ERIC C VINOYA PA (GSC) who delivered the welcome remarks in the said activity. Then lastly, Malaysia had its presentation through student-officers: MAJOR NOORISMA EZA MAT ISA ROYAL MALAYSIAN AIR FORCE (RMAF), MAJOR MOHD RIDHZUAN MOHD YUSOF ROYAL MALAYSIAN ARMY (RMA) and LT COMMANDER MOHD HARRIS SADI ROYAL MALAYSIAN NAVY (RMN) wherein our Malaysian counterparts recognized the commonalities between the Filipinos and Malaysians in culture, traditions, foods, some similarities local dialects, among others.
5] PAF to procure 12 light fighter jets for air defense
THE PHILIPPINE Air Force is on the process of procuring 12 units of FA-50 “Golden Eagle” light fighter jets from the South Korea’s Korean Aerospace Inc (KAI) to boost its air defense capabilities and secure the country’s air space from foreign intruders, PAF spokesperson COLONEL ERNESTO MIGUEL OKOL PAF (GSC) reported to the media recently.
This is in connection with the ‘paradigm shift’ of the leadership of the defense department and the military top brass to transition its focus from internal security operations to territorial/maritime domain awareness in line with the long-term objectives of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program and to address as well the country’s defense needs in the light of the recent developments in the West Philippine Sea (or widely-known South China Sea) wherein the Philippines and China has both existing territorial conflicting/overlapping claims in the Spratlys islands, reefs, atolls located at the west of Palawan province and at the Scarborough Shoal or Panatag Shoal/Bajo de Masinloc wherein in April 2012, our Philippine Navy warship, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar and two Chinese maritime surveillance ships had a “face-off” when our navy operatives attempted to apprehend and arrest the Chinese fishermen then fishing at the Panatag Shoal but such arrest did not materialized after two Chinese maritime patrol ships intercepted the BRP del Pilar.
For info, the FA-50 “Golden Eagle” is the advanced light fighter variant of the original T-50 “Golden Eagle” advanced trainer jets of South Korea’s KAI in partnership with the United States’ defense aircraft manufacturer, Lockheed and Martin.
The original proposed plan of the PAF is to procure the other variant TA-50 lead-in- fighter trainers (LIFT) with limited light fighter capabilities but the model was re-evaluated as the Philippines is actually looking for a warplane with advanced light fighter capabilities that will meet or suit the country’s unique defense needs, a defense press release confirmed early this year.
Earlier, eight (8) units of the advanced and more capable Polish Swidnik’s W-3A “Sokol” combat utility helicopters (CUH) was delivered to the PAF since 2011 and the full delivery of the new helicopters was completed last year as part of PAF’s modernization efforts.
6] BRP Alcaraz boosts PH Navy capabilities
THE PHILIPPINE Navy fleet’s maritime/territorial defense capabilities are boosted with the arrival of BRP Ramon Alcaraz, formerly United States Coast Guard Dallas (also a decommissioned Hamilton-class Weather High Endurance Cutter similar to the BRP Gregorio del Pilar) which arrived within the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) last 01 August 2013 at around 1:00 a.m. and which was formally welcomed by no less than President Benigno S Aquino III at Subic Bay last 06 August 2013.
It is reported the new warship of the Philippine Navy will be equipped with the modern weapons system, including the upgrade of its capability for surface-to-surface missile system with the installation of Harpoon missiles, per approval by the US defense department.
In his speech, President Aquino rallied the entire men and women of the AFP to give their best in performing the solemn duty to defend the Philippine territorial integrity against all threats — internal and external ----- and emulate World War II hero, Commodore Ramon Alcaraz, who despite the Japanese Imperial Army’s superior war materiel, troops and air assets, managed to shot down three (3) enemy warplanes with his Q-boat (BRP Abra) in a showdown at the Manila bay during the said great war recorded in human history.
The BRP Gregorio del Pilar, also a Hamilton-class cutter like the BRP Alcaraz, welcomed the new warship in the “traditional meeting” of new ship to be added to the existing naval fleet of the Philippine Navy in the West Philippine Sea off Bolinao, Pangasinan. The Philippine Navy leadership, led by the Flag Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Alano, admitted during the press briefing that the BRP Alcaraz will definitely boost the capabilities of the PN to establish a “minimum (naval) credible defense posture” and to effectively guard and protect the territorial integrity and the 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the country.
The Navy is also on the process of acquiring two (2) relatively-modern missile-firing Meastralle-class frigates from the Italian Navy, with additional capabilities on anti-submarine warfare (ASW).