Army appoints seasoned officer to head Lanao Sur-based battalion

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.

February 3, 2020, 9:01 pm

CHANGE OF COMMAND. Brig. Gen. Generoso Ponio, Army's 1st Infantry Division commander (seated, center) installs Lt. Col. Franco Raphael Alano (seated, left) as the new commander of the 55th Infantry Battalion vice Lt. Col. Ian Noel Ignes (seated, right). The turnover of command ceremony was held Sunday (Feb. 2, 2020) at the headquarters of the 55th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Dilausan, Madalum, Lanao del Sur. (Photo courtesy of the Army's 1st Infantry Division)

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry Division has installed an Airborne Ranger-trained officer to head the 55th Infantry Battalion, one of the military units that liberated Marawi City and is continuously pursuing the remnants of the Dawlah Islamiyah group in Lanao del Sur.

Lt. Col. Franco Raphael Alano was installed as the new commander of the Army’s 55th Infantry Battalion, succeeding Lt. Col. Ian Noel Ignes.

Ignes had just finished his tour of duty as a battalion commander and is set to be assigned to a higher position in Visayas Region.

Brig. Gen. Generoso Ponio, the Army’s 1st Infantry Division commander, officiated the turnover of command ceremony Sunday at the headquarters of the 55th Infantry Battalion in Barangay Dilausan, Madalum, Lanao del Sur.

Alano implored local leaders, agency heads, community leaders, and other stakeholders for their cooperation in the pursuit of lasting peace and sustainable development.

Ignes, during his relinquishment speech, thanked the local chief executives for the trust, support, and cooperation with the battalion in accomplishing its mission.

Ignes also thanked the troops for their service and asked them to remain united and continue to work as a team.

Alano was a former Scout Ranger unit commander in his earlier years in the service. He was later designated as Civil-Military Operations (CMO) Officer of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division.

Alano is a member of the Philippine Military Academy class of 1998. He is a graduate of Command and General Staff Course, a prerequisite to the position he now assumed, in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Education Training Doctrine Command.

He is also a Fellow of the Mindanao Bridging Leadership Program (MBLP) of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) in Makati City.

Meanwhile, Ponio commended the outgoing battalion commander for his exemplary performance in Lanao del Sur and his tour of duty in 1st Infantry Division.

Ponio has awarded Alano for his service as the former Assistant Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations of the command.

“With his career and service reputation, I am confident that the new commander will steer the Vigilant (55th Infantry) Battalion to the greater heights,” Ponio said.

“Let us look forward to achieve our mission in Lanao del Sur and uphold the duties and responsibilities mandated by the higher headquarters,” he said. (PNA)