PH Navy conducts salvage ops for crashed PAF MD 520MG helicopter in Getafe, Bohol

Robie de Guzman   •   May 5, 2021   •   653

MANILA, Philippines — A joint search and recovery operation was conducted in the waters off Jandayan Island in Getafe, Bohol where the Philippine Air Force (PAF) MD 520MG crashed last April 27, the Philippine Naval Force Central (NAVFORCEN) said.

In a statement, the NAVFORCEN said the joint salvage operation was conducted by the Philippine Navy vessel BRP Abraham Campo (PC396) and the Naval Special Operations Unit 5, in coordination with personnel from 15th Strike Wing, Philippine Air Force and Coast Guard Sub-Station Getafe.

“On April 27, 2021, BRP Abraham Campo received a call from Headquarters, NFC about a reported crash of PAF 520MG at seawaters of Getafe, Bohol and immediately proceeded to the said vicinity. Coordination made with Coast Guard Sub-Station Getafe and 47th Infantry Battalion and confirmed the identities of crew of the said aircraft. They were brought to Garcia Hernandez Memorial Hospital in Talibon, Bohol,” the agency said.

PAF earlier said that one pilot was killed while three others were injured in the crash. The helicopter went down while conducting an engineering flight but the cause is still under investigation.

“After the recovery of the crew of the ill-fated helicopter, a well-studied plan was developed for the recovery of the MG520. Upon availability of the necessary materials and equipment, PC396 launched its Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) with onboard personnel of NAVSOU5, PAF and Civilian Divers and conducted underwater search and investigation,” the NAVFORCEN said.

“Upon confirming the location of the sunken helicopter, a civilian crane barge was utilized to lift and recover the said aircraft,” it added.

The agency said the recovered aircraft was transported by the BRP Abraham Campo from Bohol to Captain Veloso Pier, Naval Base Rafael Ramos, Lapu-Lapu City and was turned-over to PAF’s Tactical Operations Wing-Central.

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

 

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.

PH Air Force promotes Eumir Marcial to sergeant after Olympic win

Robie de Guzman   •   August 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Boxer Eumir Marcial has been promoted to sergeant for winning the bronze medal at the recently concluded 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) said.

Marcial was pinned with the sergeant chevrons by PAF commanding general LtGen. Allen Paredes and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea shortly after he arrived in the country from Japan Monday.

Prior to the Olympics, Marcial’s rank was Airman First Class (A1C).

Marcial brought home the bronze medal after competing at the Men’s Middleweight Division during the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

“The newly-promoted Sergeant Eumir Felix Marcial PAF remarkably exemplifies Diwa, Galing at Malasakit, the qualities expected of every Airman,” the PAF said in a statement.

As part of the safety protocols against COVID-19, Sergeant Marcial will be undergoing the mandatory quarantine.

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