MANILA, Philippines – A newly refurbished C-130 cargo plane and other air and ground assets were commissioned by the Philippine Air Force in a ceremony at Villamor Air Base Friday.
The 48-year-old C-130B was the first ever cargo plane to be overhauled locally by Air Force personnel, said PAF Vice Commander Major General Raul Gabriel Dimatatac who led the ceremonies.
It was also the first time in 23 years that the Air Force has had as much as three operational C-130s at once.
There are now three C-130s in the Air Force inventory, with another (#4704) that underwent the Programmed Depot Maintenance in Mojave, California using US Foreign Military funding which lasted for 27 months and cost P549.8 million for structural work alone.
The restored assets were part of the military’s P579.4 million maintenance project. The C-130 (3633) project took 33 months.
Dimatatac also recognized the project team behind the restoration of C-130, composed of personnel from Air Logistics Command, 200th Airlift Wing and 410th Maintenance Wing.
He added that the overhaul of the cargo plane was just as of same quality of other PAF assets restored abroad.
“We have documents, technical documents and the work was done according to guidelines,” Dimatatac said.
He added that there were no more grounded C-130s lined up for refurbishment, as the Structural Maintenance Program and the Programmed Depot Maintenance were only completed every three and five years, respectively.
But one more grounded C-130 plane in Cebu could be considered for an overhaul and they might recommend it to be also restored locally, Dimatatac said.
The PAF also had one rainmaker aircraft (LC-210), one Huey, and 12 M-35 trucks blessed in the ceremony and seen to “increase the capability of the Air Force in the performance of its multi-faceted roles.”