THE P2 billion-worth relocation and reconstruction of the 15th Strike wing in the 200-hectare Lumbia Airport facility in Cagayan de Oro City will be completed and be operational by 2019, said an official of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

PAF chief public information officer Maria Farncia Perez said the relocation of PAF’s 15th Strike Wing to Lumbia Airport is grounded on the memorandum of agreement between the Department of Transportation and Communication, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), and the Department of National Defense to swap the CAAP facility in Lumbia with the Philippine Air Force in Sangley Point.

PAF officials led the groundbreaking ceremony headed by PAF Commanding General Lieutenant General Edgar Pallorina and National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Wednesday, February 1.

The 15th Strike Wing was established to conduct counter-insurgency and special combat operations for the aerial warfare of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“One of the greatest purposes of this swapping is to decongest the flights in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). If the 15th Strike Wing will be relocated here then the facility in Sangley Point near Manila could be used to lessen the delays in commercial flights,” said Perez.

In his speech, Pallorina backed the economic effects of this swap as it will aid not only the daily commercial flight congestion in NAIA but will also help in the fast exchange of goods and business opportunities in the country.

“In addition to that, the establishment of the 15th Strike Wing here in Lumbia, Cagayan de Oro will allow us to strengthen our leverage here in this part of the country especially in the tasks of aiding our Army troops against insurgency and terrorism,” Pallorina said.