Philippine Air Force considered a game changer in Marawi war

UNTV News   •   November 7, 2017   •   9374

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Air Force has played a vital role in the Marawi siege.

The military unit is considered a game changer as it contributed a lot in killing terrorists through air strikes, among others.

“Without them, I believe we cannot really win Marawi City. It’s really a game changer. We saw that the Philippine Air Force played a very vital role in terms of turning tide and stealing the fear and the will to fight ng Maute ISIS ay na-destroy,” Western Mindanao Command Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr. said.

“Kung wala ang game changers ng Philippine Air Force, this siege may take longer, probably another 6 months because it would just be pure ground fighting (Without the game changers of the Philippine Air Force, this siege would have taken longer, probably another 6 months because it would just be pure ground fighting),” AFP Former Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Ano said.

One of the pilots of UH-1H helicopters of the Philippine Airforce refused to face the camera because of security concerns.

He played a significant role in transporting wounded soldiers in the fight in Marawi City.

“Pagka naisakay sa chopper, nasa amin na ang buhay ng isang wounded. So ikaw bilang piloto, nandoon na ‘yung drive mo, hindi lang piloto, lahat ng air crew na nandoon sa chopper, kasama na ang medical team, paano niyo maisalba ang buhay noon na madagdagan pa buhay niya (When the wounded boards the chopper, his life is now in our hands. So as the pilot, the same goes for all the crew and medical team present, your drive should be there — save the wounded and extend his life),” said the UH-1H pilot.

The job of a forward air controller is another sensitive post. He is the direct contact of the pilot regarding the location of their enemies.

“As a controller on the ground, it is more dangerous because, before the delivery of the bomb, we are stationed at the minimum safe distance from the ammunition,” said, a forward controller who declined to be named.

A soldier who asked to be called “Blaster” also performed a crucial task in the fight as an explosive ordinance disposal personnel.

“Ginamit nila kami to reach the wall para sila maka-penetrate sa area. Kasi nagkaroon ng labanan na building to building ang pagitan. Ganoon ka-delikado(They used us to reach the wall to penetrate the area because a fight erupted that was building to building in distance. It was that dangerous),” Blaster said.

“Before papasok ang assault team ng army, kailangan ma-clear muna namin ang dadaanan nila(Before the army’s assault team enters, we should first clear their way),” he added.

The three soldiers were among the over 1,000 Philippine Air Force personnel who fought in Marawi.

Two hundred of the airmen who arrived earlier were given a Heroes’ Welcome in Villamor Air Base Pasay City.

The soldiers were given medals in recognition of their gallantry.

Not single personnel from the Air Force died in the five-month battle.

Meanwhile, the soldiers’ families are so thankful to finally reunite with them.

“Normal sa isang asawa mo sundalo, pangalawa lang kami. Kumbaga, iyon ang first priority niya (It’s normal for a wife of a soldier to take second place in his priorities.  His duty is his first priority),” said Blaster’s wife.

“Nakakalungkot lang ang mga nawalan ng sundalo din, iyong mga namatay (It’s sad that some soldiers have been killed).  Kaya sabi ko, salamat, hindi kasali ang asawa ko (That’s why I thought, ‘Thank God, my husband is not one of them’),” she added. – Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

 

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.

2 Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute Group members surrender

Marje Pelayo   •   September 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Two members of the terrorist Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute Group (DI-MG) yielded to authorities on Wednesday (September 1), the military reported.

They were identified as alias Mosab, 19 years old and alias Hodaifa; both hail from the municipality of Piagapo

The two surrendered to Joint Task Group Haribon in Kampo Ranao, Marawi City.

Mosab revealed that he was forced sometime in January, this year, to join the terrorist group. He was involved in sowing atrocities in the province to include numerous firefights against government forces that caused fear and even displaced some families in the hinter areas of Madalum and Piagapo in Lanao del Sur and Munai and Tangcal in Lanao del Norte.

Meanwhile, Hodaifa left the group this year upon “realizing the deceptive intent of the DI-MG of capitalizing on violent extremism as the true Jihad.” He was part of the group that terrorized and attacked Marawi City in 2017.

The two surrenderers brought with them two M-16 rifles with ammunition.

Brig. Gen. Jose Maria Cuerpo II of JTG Haribon, also the commander of the 103rd Infantry (HARIBON) Brigade, assured the safety and well-being of the former insurgents.

Meanwhile, Piagapo Vice Mayor Ali Sumandar urged the remaining DI-MG members to surrender. He also encouraged residents to report to the nearest military unit the presence of the terrorist group in their area.

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