MANILA – Col. Andre B. Santos formally took over the command of the Nueva Ecija-based Army Aviation Regiment (AAR) on Thursday.
Santos replaced Col. Jesus Rico D. Atencio in a “live-streamed” change-of-command ceremony presided by Philippine Army commander Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay.
“Let us sustain the momentum in capacitating the service towards mission effectiveness. Let us work towards operational and organizational excellence, closely working with our partners and stakeholders, and uplifting the well-being of our personnel,” Gapay said in his speech.
Santos, a member of Philippine Military Academy Class (PMA) 1992, previously served as Director of Land Warfare Center, Training and Doctrine Command; and as commander of the Army Aviation Battalion, the precursor unit to the Aviation Regiment.
He also served as Chief of the Governance and Strategy Management Office of the Armor Division.
Meanwhile, Atencio, who led the AAR since its activation on October 2, 2019, is a member of PMA Class of 1991. He also completed the Advance Aviator Course at the Masters Flying School, and the Aviation Safety Officer Course at Fort Rucker, Alabama in 1998.
The AAR has been instrumental in conducting aerial reconnaissance in the 1st Infantry Division, 4th Infantry Division, 7th Infantry Division, Central Command, and Southern Luzon Command; and in the conduct of maritime patrols over Northern Luzon Command; implementation of aviation modernization; and contribution to the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) containment efforts. (PNA)