Sunday, August 13, 2017

Air Force officer is new Western Command chief

From Malaya Business Insight (Aug 14): Air Force officer is new Western Command chief

A SENIOR Air Force general is the new head of the Armed Forces’ Western Command (Wescom) which supervises all military operations in disputed areas in the South China Sea or West Philippine Sea.

Maj. Gen. Galileo Kintanar assumed the post last Friday at the Wescom headquarters in Camp General Artemio Ricarte in Puerto Princesa City.

Kintanar, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1985, replaced Lt. Gen. Raul del Rosario, of PMA Class 1984, who bowed out of the military service yesterday, upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 56.

The Wescom commander is one of the most sensitive assignments in the Armed Forces because he will be in charge of all military activities in the South China Sea, where the disputed Spratly Islands are situated.

The oil and minerals-rich Spratly Island is being claimed in part or in whole by the Philippines, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and Taiwan. China has turned aggressive in its claims over the past years.

Another reshuffle is expected soon with the retirement on August 30 of Lt. Gen. Ferdinand Quidilla (PMA Class 1983), chief of the Southern Luzon Command.

Kintanar, before his Wescom post, was commander of the Air Education and Training Command based in Lipa City. The military has yet to announce who will succeed him as AETC commander.

Before assuming AETC post in May last year, Kintanar was the Chief of Air Staff. He also served as commander of the 15th Strike Wing and chief of the AFP Office for Strategic Studies.

Kintanar took the Squadron Officer course in Alabama in 1994 and was recognized with a Distinguished Graduate Award, said AFP public affairs chief Col. Edgard Arevalo.

“He pursued his Defense and Strategic Studies Course at the Australian Defense College in Canberra and Deakin University, Australia,” Arevalo also said.

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