22 October 2013, BERLIN – Ambassador Maria Cleofe R. Natividad met with Major Ricnon Carolasan, Philippine participant in the newly-resumed Philippine-German military training cooperation, in Cologne, Germany.
“Defense is one of the priority areas for cooperation as the Philippines and Germany celebrate 60th year of bilateral relations, “ stated Ambassdaor Natividad.
Major Ricnon Carolasan arrived in Cologne in August 2013 to commence his German language studies preparatory to the military course in Hamburg.Major Carolasan is a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy in 1994 and has been in active service for 22 years. Major Carolasan is a multiawarded official and recipient of various commendations.
Major Carolasan’s participation marks the revival of defense cooperation between the two countries.
As early as 1974, the Philippines and Germany inked an agreement on military training assistance. The administrative agreement formed the basis for trainings and scholarships for Philippine military officers who were able to take up command and staff courses in military schools in Germany. Many of these officers now hold responsible positions in the Philippine defense establishment. However, Philippine participation stopped in 1998.
In May 2012, with support from the Department and the Department of National Defense (DND), H.E. Ambassador Maria Cleofe R. Natividad exerted efforts to revive military training assistance and spearheaded discussions with the German Ministry of Defense on enhancing bilateral security and defense cooperation. Germany responded with an offer for military training assistance, among others.
Bilateral defense l consultations were held for the first time between the DND and the Federal Ministry of Defense and their counterparts in the Philippine Defense Ministry in Manila from 13 to 15 February 2013. The next follow-up defense consultations is expected to take place in 2014 in Berlin.
Major Carolasan’s participation is seen to be a breakthrough.“ This is a concrete outcome of the recent defense consultations. We look forward to more cooperation projects: including hopefully an agreement on a framework for cooperation’, said Ambassador Natividad. END