AFP highlights modernization efforts on 80th anniversary
CLARK AIR BASE—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) highlighted its modernization efforts on their 80th anniversary on Monday here.
“Our modernization program is definitely rolling forward in a high gear, thanks to our President, our Commander in Chief’s resolve and commitment,” AFP chief Gen. Hernando Iriberri said in his speech.
It was the first time the celebration was held outside Metro Manila in order to avoid air traffic as the Philippine Air Force’s assets were set to do a fly by.
It was also a tribute to President Benigno Aquino III, who witnessed his last AFP anniversary as President and Commander in Chief of the 125,000-strong Armed Forces.
Aquino said in his speech that he had completed 65 projects more than the past three administrations combined of only 45.
The projects completed by Aquino are worth P56.79 billion, which include Army trucks, combat utility helicopters, basic trainer aircraft and coast watch systems.
At the end of the event, thousands of troops which represented different units in the AFP participated in the parade before the spectators.
The military also showcased some of its assets—including armored personnel carriers, artillery assets, disaster equipment, among others.
The Philippine Air Force also did a fly by of some of its assets, including combat utility helicopters, attack choppers, and transport planes.
The two newly acquired fighter jets from South Korea also did high speed passes thrice during the program.
The Navy showed off its assets through a video presentation.
Iriberri took the opportunity to thank Aquino for making military modernization a priority during his administration.
“[His] commitment to transform the Armed Forces of the Philippines has been immutable,” he said.
“Mahal na Pangulo ang buong sandatahang lakas ng Pilipinas ay taos puso pong nagpapasalamat sa inyong suporta upang matupad and aming minimithi sa aming modernization program, sa inyong pag-angat ng antas ng kabuhayan ng aming kasundaluhan at lalo na sa paglunsad sa aming hukbo sa matuwid na daan,” he said.
Iriberri also thanked Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin for his “trust and guidance” to the military.
The AFP chief also thanked civilians, reservists and partner organizations.
Last but not the least, he thanked his fellow soldiers who risk their lives to keep the nation at peace.
“Pinupuri ko kayo saan man kayo naroroon ngayon lalo na kayong mga nasa gitna ng laot, o nasa himpapawid o nasa kagubatan na walang takot na humaharap sa kapahamakan para sa kaunlaran, katahimikan at kasarinlan ng ating bayan, mula sa inyong pagsasakripisyo, paghahanda at matibay na paninindigan humuhugot ng lakas ang ating sandatahan,” he said.
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