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Friday, September 10, 2010

PAF to get more planes next yea

The military will have a robust air fleet next year, but in the
meantime, the Philippine Air Force has to make do with what is
available to perform its job, an Air Force official said Wednesday.

Lt. Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol, PAF spokesperson, said at least 18
trainer aircraft, eight combat utility helicopters “and more flying
C130 airplanes” will be arriving starting next year.

Okol told reporters during a visit here that one of the C130 planes
they were expecting will be coming from the United States.

The PAF is beset by a lack of aircraft. A number of its aircraft have
crashed or are currently undergoing maintenance while others havce
been grounded due to old age.

Okol said the Air Force expects that the arrival of more aircraft,
including C130s, will boost the military’s capability to transport
personnel and supplies during combat operations and deal with threats
to national security.

While the PAF was optimistic, the Philippine Navy on the other hand
said it continues to yearn for assets that could boost its
performance.

Rear Adm. Danilo Cortez, acting Navy commander, said they might have
two helicopters at the moment but these have been grounded due to
problems.

“The Bolk√∂w helicopters that we have are no longer working,” he said.

Cortez cited the importance of helicopters in search-and-rescue operations.

He said they were pinning their hopes for new air assets on the
planned modernization for the military.

“Let’s hope that there will be new acquisitions,” Lt. Gen. Ben
Dolorfino, Western Mindanao Command chief, said.

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