New PAF chief named next week
The Philippine Air Force (PAF) will have a new commander next week following the retirement of Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena.
According to Air Force spokesperson Lt. Col. Miguel Jose Okol, President Benigno Aquino III will be the guest of honor and will preside during the change of command ceremony on January 11.
Rabena’s replacement as PAF Commanding General will be announced during the event.
Okol said four senior officers have been recommended as Rabena’s possible successor. They are Maj. Gens. Jose Villarete, head of the 3rd Air Division based in Zamboanga City and a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1979; Ricardo Banayat, commander of the 1st Air Division based in Clark Field Pampanga, also of Class ’79; Lauro dela Cruz, chief of Air Staff, Class ’80; and Gregorio Macapagal, commander of the Air Education and Training Command, also of PMA Class ’80.
Rabena, a member of Class ’78, will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 in August this year.
He assumed the post of Air Force chief in January 2009.
“He will relinquish his post on January 10 based on military rules which set at three years the maximum tenure of a major service commander,” Okol explained.
Prior to the turnover ceremony, the Air Force will pay tribute to Rabena with a testimonial review and subsequently, the retirement ceremony.
According to Okol, the formal ceremony will feature a parade and review—a military tradition to honor outgoing commanders. Tina G. Santos