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New fighter jets to fly at PAF chief’s sendoff

/ 12:27 AM March 08, 2016

THE COMMANDER of the Philippine Air Force will finally get a proper sendoff when he retires from the military service tomorrow (Wednesday).

Outgoing commanding general Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Delgado will review the troops as the PAF’s brand new supersonic jets—two FA-50 lead-in fighters recently acquired from South Korea—will zoom by at his retirement ceremony at Fernando Air Base in Lipa City.

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PAF spokesperson Col. Enrico Canaya said it was tradition for the commander to review the troops and assets for the last time.

“It’s also an opportunity for our pilots to gain proficiency in formation flying, which they train for,” Canaya said.

It was under Delgado’s term that the PAF acquired the supersonic fighter jets, an array of medium-lift aircraft and attack helicopters, this after the Air Force had lost most of its air power over the past decades.

Two of the jets arrived in November as the first part of a 12-aircraft order from Korea Aerospace Industries worth P18.9 billion.

Delgado will be turning over the Air Force to a still unnamed successor to be named by President Aquino most likely from a list that includes Lt. Gen. Edgar Fallorina, deputy chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; Maj. Gen. Salvador Melchor Mison, commander of the Air Education and Training Command; 1st Air Division commander Maj. Gen. Raul del Rosario and PAF chief of air staff Maj. Gen. Galileo Kintanar.

The President is expected to preside over the ceremony at Fernando Air Base.

Delgado’s 56th birthday, the age of mandatory retirement age from the military and police service, isn’t until March 20 but he is leaving earlier on March 9 due to the election ban on appointments.

Delgado belongs to Philippine Military Academy “Sandigan” Class of 1982 and spent most of his military career in the Air Force, receiving various medals for outstanding service, including the Presidential Legion of Honor.

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