By Nicole J. Managbanag

AT LEAST 151 new reservists of the Air Force group graduated the Basic Citizens Military Training (BCMT) Mapagmatyag 2010 in simple ceremonies held Thursday at the Grand Caprice Restaurant, this city.

The new reservists, who came from different professions, religions and beliefs, have undergone a two-month training that started in November 2009 and held every Saturdays and Sundays.

Brigadier General Alejandro Camagay, Air Force commander, was the guest of honor in Thursday’s graduation.

General Camagay said this is so far the most number of recruits in the Philippines.

“There’s no need to bring weapons to fight in front lines. There are no wars anymore. Time has changed and so was the climate. What you do, instead, is help alleviate the disaster situation in our country, involve in a disaster relief and rescue operation, do community service, plan civic action such as planting trees, planting mangroves, do coastal clean-up, provide medical care and federal service, especially in Cagayan de Oro,” General Camagay said.

He challenged every reservist to live for development in this part of Mindanao and guarantee progress and rights of every Filipino.

“Please do your jobs well,” Camagay told the new reservists.

The BCMT hopes to develop, organize, train, equip and administer reservists into capable, responsive and able reserve force as one integral component of the air force in defending the state. They are also expected to participate in socio-economic development efforts.

There are currently two types of reservists in the component of the Reserve Force — the Ready Reserve and the Standby Reserve.

Ready Reservists are personnel who are always on constant alert and on a call whenever the mobilization order has been given while Standby Reservists are the personnel who support and augment the Ready Reserve Force when needed.

In Cagayan de Oro, the BCMT air force reservist of the 10th Regional Community Defense Group are the disaster management team who coordinates with other government agencies such as the Philippine National Red Cross, Bureau of Fire Protection, Coast guard, 4th Infantry Diamond Division, Department of Health, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Interior and Local Government and other rescue teams for immediate response to any incident.

George Goking, group commander of the 33ready Reserve Air Group of the Philippine Air Force, said he was overwhelmed with the number of reservists who graduated this year as compared last year.

Goking donated two ambulance vehicles and two big buses to be used by the group during emergencies.