29th Commanding General, PAF
02 February 2007 – 04 January 2008
LIEUTENANT GENERAL HORACIO S TOLENTINO AFP, the 29th Commanding General, Philippine Air Force, is a seasoned helicopter pilot and a veteran of the Mindanao Campaign of the early seventies. After graduating from the Philippine Military Academy in 1974, he was designated as the Security Officer of Task Force Cagayan de Sulu before reporting to the Philippine Air Force Flying School in Fernando Air Base, Lipa City for Pilot Training. Upon obtaining his “wings”, Lt Gen Tolentino immediately saw action in Mindanao as a line pilot of the UH-IH under the following units that were deeply engaged in the war against Muslim secessionist in the South; UFAC, Sulu Air Task Group, and Composite Air Support Force, Cotabato. After two and a half years in Mindanao, Lt Gen Tolentino continued to hone his pilot skills in Tacloban under Task Force LEYSAM for 1 year and 8 months. Another two (2) years were spent in the critical areas of Luzon in support of ground troops of the following Task Forces; Task Force Lawin (San Fernando, Pampanga), Task Force Ibalon (Legaspi City) Task Force Isarog (Sorsogon). He was also assigned at CASF Echague in Isabela. As he gained field experience, Lt Gen Tolentino was also upgrading his pilot skills and was designated as test pilot and instructor pilot of the UH-1H.
The experience he learned in the field was put to good use when he was designated as the Squadron Commander of 505th Air Rescue Squadron in 1982, his first Command position in the Philippine Air Force. Another mid-level command position given to him was as Group Commander of Composite Tactical Group 11 in Davao City. Later on in his career, he was entrusted with the command of two major PAF Units, the 1st Tactical Operations Wing at Air Force City, Clark Air Base and the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing at Mactan Benito Ebuen Air Base, Lapulapu City where he was instrumental in turning around the low Operational Readiness Rate of the UH-1H. Just prior to becoming the Top Pilot-in-Command of the PAF, he was the Commander of Tactical Operations Command, based at Mactan Benito Ebuen Air Base, Lapulapu Ciry. It is worth noting that all of these command positions involved units that are major force providers of the PAF in Internal Security Operations.
Lt General Tolentino was also assigned to various staff positions. From 1987 to 1990, he was actively involved in the strategic planning of the Philippine Air Force under OA-5 specializing in Weapons System and Research and Data Collection. He returned to this office in 2000 as the primary PAF Staff for Plans and Programs, A-5 before being designated as the Air Force’s Chief Human Resource Manager, A-1. His innate “people skills” effectively guided him in managing the most critical resource of the PAF, its personnel. He instituted policies that significantly improved human resource development. His accomplishment in this field was so outstanding that he was designated as the AFP’s Human Resource Manager (Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel J-1) in June 2005. Gaining the distinction of being the Air Force officer who broke the long succession of competent naval officers who held the position of J-1 since 1987.
Lt Gen Tolentino is a graduate of various military and civilian courses. He finished his General Staff Course at Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama, USA in 1993. He also took up Masters in Business Administration at the Ateneo Graduate School and the Masters in National Security Administration at the National Defense College of the Philippines, where he graduated with honors.
In February 2, 2007 Lt Gen Tolentino was appointed Commanding General of the PAF. As CG, PAF, his Command Framework of A.C.T.I.O.N. – AIR FORCE translated into Action Driven, Combat Focused, Technology Based, Innovative, Organizationally Sound and Nation Building Air force, guided him. His administration gave impetus to airmen empowerment, advanced capabilities and dedicated service.
Lt Gen Horacio Tolentino, “Tintoy” or “Ace” to his friends, traces his roots from Alaminos, Pangasinan and Sipocot, Camarines Sur. Born on 7 February 1952 and son of a retired air force soldier who served in the PAF engineering unit in Northern Luzon, Lt Gen Tolentino grew up at the Enlisted Personnel Housing Area of Villamor Air Base. He is happily married to Elena and they are blessed with four children-Elaine, Erickson, Edelwisa and Elcid.