Guam -Key leaders of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Reserve Command and Retiree Affairs learned strategies on disaster preparedness and training during their visit to Guam this week, as part of the Guam National Guard’s State Partnership Program.
The AFP officers toured the Guam Army and Air Guard facilities, received a brief from Chuck Ada of Guam Homeland Security, and visited the National Weather Service in Tiyan during their three day stay.
The visiting AFP officers were Army Major General Jovencio Magalso, AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Retiree and Reserve Affairs; Army Brigadier General Lito Tabangcura, AFP Reserve Command commanding officer; Colonel Carol Dreo, SPP coordinator for the AFP RESCOM; and AFP Army Captain Jacqui Manoroc, J9 Aide-de-Camp.
MAJ GEN Magalso said this visit by his team served to enhance their knowledge of how this partnership between the Guam Guard and the AFP Reserve Command can continue to grow.
“The Guam National Guard has really contributed a lot especially in the activities such as medical and dental programs in the Philippines… The Governor of Guam, during our visit with him, told us to continue this state partnership program. He also told us about Guam and the Philippines sharing similar cultures.”
“I think there is really a need to further develop the program… For the last three days we were here, we learned a lot of things. We learned a lot about your disaster response… and about the land and air components of the Guam National Guard. I was impressed by Guam as a whole, the warmness of the people here and the hospitality… It’s not difficult to adjust to the environment here,” Magalso said.
During last year’s Thanksgiving weekend, a team of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals from the Guam Guard’s Medical Detachment conducted a mission to support the AFP Reserve Command through Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEEs), during a medical/dental outreach in two barangays (communities) in Puerto Princesa, the capital city of Palawan, Philippines. Palawan is an island province over 350 miles southwest of Metropolitan Manila.
Missions such as these, under the National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program, help strengthen relations between the Philippines and the U.S. The Philippines is the Guam Guard’s partner state.