1 dead, 3 wounded in chopper crash in Bohol – PAF

Robie de Guzman   •   April 27, 2021   •   507

A Philippine Air Force (PAF) personnel was killed while three others were injured when their helicopter crashed in Getafe town, Bohol province on Tuesday.

In a statement, PAF confirmed the aircraft mishap involving MD520MG #410 from the 15th Strike Wing that went down around 9:30 a.m. while conducting engineering flight.

PAF said the three injured aircrew members were brought to the nearest hospital to receive proper medical attention.

“Members of the PAF 505 Search and Rescue Group, the 47IB, and the Bohol PDRRMO rushed to the crash site to immediately rescue members of the aircrew who were brought to the nearest hospital for proper medical attention,” the air force said.

PAF did not release the names of the personnel involved as their families are still being informed about the incident.

“We request that while this is being done, all concerned will be sensitive to the families involved,” it said.

The air force also extended its condolences to the personnel who died in the crash.

“The men and women of the Philippine Air Force, led by the Commanding General, LtGen Allen T Paredes PAF, deeply grieves the loss of an aircrew who offered his life in the line of duty,” it said.

“The PAF will provide all necessary assistance and financial aid for the bereaved family,” it added.

In a separate statement, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff General Cirilito Sobejana expressed sadness over the death of one of PAF’s pilots in the incident.

“We send our sincerest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues as we offer our support in any way we can,” Sobejana said.

PAF said it has grounded the MG520 fleet as it investigates the circumstances surrounding the incident.

It also assured the public that all of its air assets are undergoing strict, regular, and redundant maintenance inspections before and after flight missions.

PH Air Force receives last batch of S-70i Black Hawk helicopters – AFP

Robie de Guzman   •   December 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Air Force has completed its fleet of S-70i Black Hawk helicopters, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said.

In a statement, the AFP said the third and final batch of choppers have been delivered and turned over to the Philippine Air Force.

The formal acceptance and turnover of five additional helicopters was held at the Clark Air Base on Friday, December 3.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP chief of staff Lieutenant General Andres Centino led the ceremony, which was also witnessed by other military and government officials.

The AFP said the five helicopters were part of the total 16 units ordered by the military.

The first batch of six was delivered in November 2020 while the other five received in October this year, it added.

The S-70i Black Hawk helicopters are being used in transporting COVID-19 vaccine supplies to far-flung and hard to reach areas in the country.

These units are also being used to support various military missions, including quick response for humanitarian aid.

Philippine Air Force receives four drones from US military

Robie de Guzman   •   October 14, 2021

 The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has received four ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) from the United States Military, the US Embassy said on Thursday.

The UAS units worth P20 million were turned over to PAF at the Clark Air Bases in Pampanga on October 13.

The drones were personally received by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and PAF commander Lieutenant General Allen Paredes.

Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim (CDA) Heather Variava joined Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Admiral John Aquilino and representatives from the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines’ Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) in delivering the drones to the PAD.

The donated drones are expected to provide the Philippines additional capabilities in unmanned Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR), and strengthen counterterrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.

It will also increase the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) domain awareness and border security capabilities.

“We remain committed to our promises on helping modernize the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and we hope this will further strengthen our combined capabilities in working together towards a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Variava said.

The embassy said the United States provides the AFP with grant assistance and expedited sales of arms and munitions to support its modernization goals and urgent maritime security, counterterrorism and humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief requirements.

The Philippines is by far the largest recipient of U.S. military assistance in the Indo-Pacific region, according to the embassy.

Since 2015, the United States has delivered more than P50.6 billion ($1.06 billion) worth of planes, ships, armored vehicles, small arms, and other military equipment to the Philippines, while training side-by-side with our Filipino allies, it added.

PAF intercepts unknown aircraft

Maris Federez   •   September 6, 2021

(File photo courtesy of Philippine Air Force)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Air Force (PAF), over the weekend, reported that it has intercepted an unknown aircraft attempting to enter the country.

A statement authorized by PAF Public Affairs Office chief, Lieutenant Colonel Maynard Mariano, said that two FA-50 Aircraft were ordered to intercept an unknown aircraft at 9:36 A.M on September 2, 2021.

The statement said that the Philippine Air Defense Control Center (PADCC), through its radars, detected an unidentified inbound aircraft in the Philippine Air Defense Identification Zone (PADIZ) approximately 120 nautical miles North West of Bolinao, Pangasinan.

“The unidentified aircraft was heading towards Philippine airspace. Coordination with the CAAP classified it to be an unknown track of interest,” the statement read.

The report added that the PADCC issued a “scramble” order to two FA-50 stationed at the Air Defense Alert Center and gave them the mission to intercept the unknown aircraft for visual identification.

The FA-50s flew at the maximum allowable speed towards the direction of the unknown aircraft that was at 21,000 feet flying at 265 knots heading North East, it said.

“At about 4 minutes into the intercept, the unknown aircraft changed direction towards the North and increased its speed to 400 knots and headed away from the Philippine airspace. The intercept was terminated at 9:45 A.M.,” the statement further read.

The Philippine Air Force assured that it will continue to protect the country and prevent unauthorized foreign aircraft from flying within the nation’s airspace.

“In the past decades, aircraft flying without clearance would willfully violate the Philippine airspace knowing that they will not be challenged; today our airspace is being closely monitored jointly by the Philippine Air Force and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines,” it guaranteed.

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