By Francis Wakefield
Bilateral ties between the Armies of both the Philippines and Spain have been boosted following the recent visit of Philippine Army (PA) Chief Lt. Gen. Macairog S. Alberto to the Spanish Army in Madrid, Spain.
During his visit to the Spanish Army headquarters from June 4 to 11, 2019, Alberto discussed with Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Francisco Javier Varela Salas efforts to mutually benefit in the training and education that will enhance joint operation capabilities of both armies.
The Philippine Army’s interest in enhancing its own Army Aviation Battalion and how their Spanish counterparts may extend its support was also discussed as Alberto visited the Fuerzas Aeromóviles del Ejército de Tierra, the Helicopter Command of the Spanish Army.
Army Spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said for the Army’s future on aviation, the 5-year Army Aviation Capability Development Plan has started this year, paving the way for the integration of the Army Aviation Force Structure and the subsequent activation of the 1st Aviation Regiment before this year ends.
The Army Aviation Battalion’s capability, it was recalled, is to perform its given mission in the air to support the ground troops and takes pride for being the sole flying component of the Philippine Army.
“I come to you from our home country as part of the Philippine Army – an organization that is currently on a consistent and committed push for reform through the Army Transformation Roadmap,” Alberto said in his speech.
“I am happy to share with you that through the Army Transformation Roadmap, the Philippine Army is making great strides in terms of professionalism of its soldiers, modernization of equipment, capability to conduct a wide variety of operations, and in terms of good governance and contribution to nation-building,” he added.
During the dinner at the Army palace, Gen. Salas was also invited to be the Guest of Honor and Speaker in relation to the Philippine Independence Day celebration at the Philippine Embassy in Madrid on June 12.
Salas also presented to the Philippine Army chief the Spanish Army Land Force 2035 structure and organization, which has the same concept with the Philippine Army’s Transformation Roadmap by 2028.
The Philippine Army, it was recalled, broke down its 18-year ATR into three base camps to create a sense of urgency in achieving its vision to be a world-class army that is a source of national pride.
In 2016, it aimed to be a well-equipped Army that has established a respectable image in Southeast Asia. By 2022, it expects to be a modern and respected Army in Asia. By 2028, it aims to fully realize its potential as a world-class army.