Aquino lauds air force

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014


CLARK AIR BASE -- President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday extolled the performance of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) as colorful and significant for managing to accomplish and discharge their functions despite limited resources.

During the air force's 67th anniversary rites themed "Soar High PAF for Peace, Freedom, and Development" at the Haribon Hangar here, President Aquino cited the contributions of the PAF in international assistance including the wars in Korea and Congo, as well as its successful defense of Zamboanga City against rogue elements.

"Mula sa pagpapakitang-gilas bilang foreign contingent sa mga digmaan sa Korea hanggang Vietnam, mula sa pagbibigay-suporta sa tanyag na Congo Mission at Bali Mission, ang ating Hukbong Himpapawid ang itinuring na pamantayan ng bilis, puwersa, at husay sa bahaging ito ng daigdig. Bilang inyong pinuno, hindi ko talaga maiwasang humanga sa paninindigan at abilidad ng inyong hanay. Saksi ako mismo sa inyong dedikasyon at kahandaang paglingkuran ang ating mamamayan. Noong Zamboanga crisis halimbawa, kinailangang ihatid ng ating tatlong C-130 ang mga personnel, kagamitan, at supply mula sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng bansa patungong Zamboanga City. Siyempre, sa harap ng kaguluhan, lalong tumaas ang inyong operational tempo, at ni minsan ‘di ko narinig na under-repair o unavailable o out ang ating mga C-130," Aquino said.

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The President added that two of the 12 fighter jets the government purchased from Korea are set to arrive soon. All 12 fighter jets, including three new C-130, six basic trainer aircrafts and six Sokols
will be completed by 2017. He also noted that his administration has purchased new jumpsuits for the PAF.

"Kung dati nga po, iisa lang ang ating C-130, ngayon, mayroon na tayong tatlo na handang tumugon sa iba't ibang sitwasyon at pagsubok. Bukod dito, lumapag na rin sa atin ang 18 basic trainer aircraft, walong Sokol combat utility helicopters, 20 upgraded na MD-520 MG helicopters, at ang apat sa binili nating 21 na UH-1 helicopters para sa inyong hanay. Inaasahan din nating dumating ang natitirang 17 units ng UH-1 helicopter ngayong taon. Dagdag pa rito, target nating bumili ng walong combat utility helicopters, dalawang long-range patrol aircraft, anim na close-air support aircraft, mga radar system, at iba pang kagamitang magpapaunlad sa inyong kakayahan. Sa susunod na taon naman, inaasahan nating mapasakamay na ang dalawa sa 12 FA-50 lead-in fighter trainer mula sa South Korea. Target pong makumpleto ang delivery ng mga ito pagdating ng 2017,” said Aquino.

He further said, "Tunay po: Dahil sa inyong pakikiambag, posible na tayong humakbang tungo sa mas matatayog na pangarap. Hindi na imposibleng magkaroon tayo ng makabagong fighter jets at mga kagamitan, at tingalain muli bilang modernong Sandatahan. Hindi na imposibleng magkaroon ng pamahalaan na totoong nagpapahalaga sa mga nagmamalasakit sa bayan. Nakakamit natin ang bawat tagumpay dahil pinili nating tahakin ang tuwid na daan tungo sa kapayapaan at higit na kaunlaran. Kaya naman, bilang Pangulo at Commander-in-Chief, talaga pong ikinararangal kong maging pinuno ng isang bansa na gumagawa ng tama at nagpapakita sa mundo na walang hamong kayang dumaig sa diwa ng nagkakaisang lahing Pilipino."

For his part, Commanding General Jeffrey Delgado expressed gratitude to President Aquino for his staunch support to PAF's modernization program, as well as for his generous support to their operational requirements and his continued assistance to maintain a decent quality of life for PAF personnel and their families. (JTD)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 02, 2014.

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