By Filane Mikee Cervantes
MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. urged the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Air Force (PAF) to keep all military assets in good condition and “ready to go” in order to fulfill their role as the country’s first line of defense against external security threats.
“I therefore direct the Philippine Air Force and the AFP to continue developing your capabilities for conducting maintenance and repair to keep all our military assets ready to go,” Marcos said during the inspection of the PAF’s recommissioning of two C-130T aircrafts at Clark Air Base in Pampanga on Friday.
He said the recommissioned aircrafts, after undergoing extensive repair and maintenance, will enable the PAF to more effectively conduct various missions, especially those involving humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations.
He expressed his appreciation to the Philippine partners in the United States government and Portugal for making the recommissioning possible.
“I am certain that our partners will be more than willing to aid us in developing your capabilities and making the necessary investments to ensure that we achieve our shared goals for the country and for this region,” he said.
Aside from inspecting the C130T aircraft, the Commander-in-Chief also witnessed the capability demonstration of the Hermes 900 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and the C208B Grand Caravan EX.
The President also acknowledged the PAF for presenting him with an Honorary Philippine Air Force Gold Wing Award, which inspires him to be counted among the esteemed list of Air Force awardees who have received the honorable distinction.
Under the AFP Modernization Program, the PAF received from January 2022 to March 29, 2023 three units of C-295 helicopters; and the first batch of Ground Based Air Defense System (GBADS) equipment including 11 Tatra vehicles, 12 units of I-Derby canisterized missiles, and four container vans of integrated logistics support packages for the GBADS Battery unit.
Also included in the new PAF assets are four units of T-129 ATAK helicopters. (PNA)