Philippine Military Eyes More Air Defense Assets

Quezon City, Philippines – The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday assured the acquisition of modern defense assets to build up the military’s air capability and competency.

“We will pursue the acquisition of more modern assets such as the Multi-Role Fighters to beef-up our air defense capability. These shall boost the morale and welfare of our troops because after all, our personnel are our greatest and most valuable asset,” General Cirilito Sobejana said.

The AFP Chief made the pronouncement during his official visit to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) at the 5th Fighter Wing headquarters in Basa Air Base, Pampanga where he also joined in the FA-50PH Tactical Capability Demonstration Flight.

“The experience that I have for the past 45 minutes up in the air on our Philippine Air Force’ FA-50PH made me feel the significance of our air assets in our campaign against the Abu Sayyaf Group, the Bangsamoro Freedom Fighters and other terrorists groups that we are fighting against,” he said.

The chief of the Philippines National Defense gets a feel of a more modern fighting plane the Philippine government had recently acquired.

The PAF’s FA-50PH aircraft stationed in Basa Air Base are among air assets being utilized by the AFP in its joint air and ground operations against local terrorists and communist terrorists groups.

After the demonstration flight, the AFP Chief of Staff was presented with the Mach 1+ Patch by Brigadier General Fabian Pedregosa, Wing Commander of the 5th Fighter Wing; the Mach Buster Certificate by Major General Connor Canlas, Commander of the Air Defense Command; and the FA-50PH Patch by Lieutenant General Allen Paredes, Commanding General of PAF.

During the traditional Talk-to-Troops, General Sobejana reiterated to Air Force personnel the important role that they play in the overall accomplishment of the AFP mission.

“What should enter into our minds is the responsibility of being a solider. We need that sense of patriotism and love for our country and our people. It is only in that way that we are able to do our best effort to protect our people and defend our territory,” he said.

The Chief of Staff has been visiting different units of the AFP, including major service commands, to keep abreast of the status of its personnel and ensure that their morale and welfare are being well taken care of.

“In our pursuit of both operational success and organizational development, we are one with every soldier, airman, sailor and marines. No one is left behind,” he concluded. (AFP PR)

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