PBBM vows continued support to Air Forces’ capability dev’t

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (Photo courtesy of PCO)
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (Photo courtesy of PCO)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday extended his deepest gratitude to the valiant officers and personnel of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) led by Lt Gen. Stephen Parreño, and vowed the administration’s continued support to the capability development of the “faithful guardians” of the Philippine aerial domain.

In his speech during the 77th founding anniversary of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) at Basa Air Base in Floridablanca, Pampanga, President Marcos assured that “consistent efforts” are being undertaken by the administration, such as acquiring additional air assets, enhancing cyber warfare communication systems and pursuing base development programs.

“We have likewise acquired additional aircraft, as well as advanced radar systems, which have transformed our operational readiness and enhanced our operational reach,” Marcos said.

“Indeed, these assets contribute to an agile Air Force – capable of protecting our nation, our people, and our resources, and dedicated to ensure that we are ready to face challenges with advanced precision, speed, and force,” he added.

President Marcos also recognized the PAF for soaring through the skies, “gallantly embodying the Filipinos’ enduring spirit of freedom,” and assured its personnel of his administration’s support for their welfare and well-being.

“As your Commander-in-Chief, I assure you of this administration’s support in prioritizing your welfare, ensuring that you are well attended to in terms of overall health and wellness so you may perform your duties effectively and safely,” he said.

“Let it be known that your unparalleled dedication and noble duty to our nation are hereby recognized,” he added.

President Marcos said the government has taken significant steps that complement and boost the administration’s vision for a stronger and more capable Air Force through increased maritime domain awareness within the Philippine Air Force Defense Identification Zone.

“We have also heightened our international defense and security engagements by sustaining our talks with our foreign military counterparts and participating in multiple bilateral and multilateral military exercises,” he said.

President Marcos said the significant steps taken by the government to boost PAF capability are a testament of the government’s stern resolve to contribute to the global peace and security.

“In all of these, the selfless women and men of the Air Force have been nothing short of exemplary, especially in your efforts to provide prompt assistance by regularly conducting humanitarian and disaster response operations,” he added.

The President urged the PAF to move forward guided by the ideals of a Bagong Pilipinas and remain united in their mission “to protect our skies, defend our lands, and serve the Filipino people.”

“Together, let us fortify our efforts to build a stronger Air Force and Armed Forces of the Philippines that will serve as an instrument for peace and for unity, a catalyst for nation-building, and a vanguard of stability.”

Show of capability

During Monday’s celebration, the PAF showcased its ability to seize control of enemy-occupied territory, where a scenario featured fighter jets neutralizing enemy aircraft and launching bomb-run to destroy enemy command and control infrastructure.

This was followed by targeted surface attacks from PAF's A29B Super Tucano aircraft while Black Hawk helicopters, equipped with Fast Rope Insertion and Extrication Systems (FRIES) deployed special operations forces for rapid infiltration.

The show also highlighted the Ground Based Air Defense System's (GBADS) swift detection and destruction of short to medium-range aerial threats.

A formation flight of T-41 and SF-260 aircraft also formed the number "77," symbolizing the PAF’s 77 years. (with Priam Nepomuceno/PNA)

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