PAF showcases ‘modest’ planes on 65th founding anniversaryBy Matikas Santos
AIR FORCE CELEBRATES ‘MODEST’ PLANES. The Philippine Air Force celebrates its 65th founding anniversary with an exhibition of its “modest air assets” and the presentation of troops at the Fernando Air Base in Lipa City in Batangas Friday, July 6, 2012. Video by INQUIRER.net’s Matikas Santos; edited by Noy Morcoso III
LIPA CITY, Philippines – The Philippine Air Force (PAF) took to the skies Friday in a fly-by exhibition of its “modest air assets” – the first in 15 years, during its 65th founding anniversary.
“Matagal-tagal na ring panahon ang dumaan na hindi tayo nakakakita ng [It’s been quite sometime since we’ve last seen a] fly-by,” Lieutenant General Lauro Catalino Dela Cruz, Commanding General of the PAF, said in his speech at the Fernando Air Base here.
Forty-three of the PAF’s current air assets composed of one S211, two OV10 “Broncos”, four MG520 attack helicopters, nine T41, 16 SF260FH trainer aircraft, four UH1H “Huey” helicopters, three F27 aircraft, one C130 “Hercules” transport aircraft, and three newly-acquired Sokol helicopters were able to perform the fly-by amid clear weather.
“Those planes in formation also represent our collective will and determination to maintain our focus on our primary mission … [of] powering up to project airpower in service to our country and people,” Dela Cruz said.
He also said that the fly-by “embodies our untiring zeal and effort to modernize our fleet and to show positive results … for the higher value of sustaining the dreams of our young fliers and the next generation.”
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, the guest of honor, said that the PAF was regaining strength “and will soon be a potent force in our defense and security operations.”
The fly-by lasted only for a few minutes but nevertheless added to the pilots’ flying hours and training, Colonel Ernesto Miguel Okol, PAF spokesman said in a statement.