AFP's chief administrator is new commander of WesCom

By Martin Sadongdong

Lieutenant General Erickson Gloria on May 26, Tuesday, relinquished his post as The Deputy Chief of Staff (TDCS) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as he is set to take on a new role as the commander of the Western Command (WesCom).

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) (MANILA BULLETIN) Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) (MANILA BULLETIN)

General Felimon Santos Jr., AFP Chief of Staff, presided over the Change of Chief Office ceremony at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City with Lt. Gen. Antonio Ramon Lim, erstwhile AFP Inspector General, replacing Gloria in an acting capacity. Gloria will head the WesCom which has military jurisdiction over the islands of Palawan and Kalayaan, including the Kalayaan (Spratly) Islands Group in the disputed West Philippine Sea.

As the chief executor and adviser on matters pertaining to policy formulation and implementation, and command decision-making process through completed staff actions, the Office of the TDCS plays "a very important role" in overseeing and ensuring that the different staff and services are working harmoniously towards the direction set by the AFP leadership, according to Santos. He thanked Gloria for his contributions to the AFP as TDCS, and wished him good luck on his new assignment.

Gloria previously served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, J1, Wing Commander of the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing, Deputy Commander of Air Mobility Command, and Deputy Commander for Air Logistic Command. He was also designated as Squadron Commander of the 5051st Search and Rescue Squadron based in Palawan and 5053rd Search and Rescue Squadron in General Santos City, and Commander of the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing.

He is a tactical and rescue pilot and holds a command pilot rating in the Philippine Air Force. Early in his military career, he was awarded with different aircrew qualifications that range from pilot, element lead, flight commander, test pilot, and instructor pilot for the UH-1H and Bell 205 helicopters.

Gloria will replace Vice Admiral Rene Medina, who is set for retirement, as WesCom chief in a change of command and retirement ceremony on May 21, Thursday. Meanwhile, Medina is capping a successful military career of over 38 years.

Before assuming as commander of Western Command in March 2019, Medina was the Commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao, the largest naval operating force of the Philippine Navy and the recipient of the prestigious award as Naval Operating Forces of the Year 2018.

He is an accomplished and experienced naval commander, with command tours in four Philippine Navy vessels specifically BRP Leopoldo Regis (PG847), BRP Apollo Tiano (PG851), BRP Salvador Abcede (PG114), and BRP Artemio Ricarte (PS37).