Friday, March 15, 2013

PAF commanding general eyes Palawan as center of disaster response, humanitarian aid

From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 15): PAF commanding general eyes Palawan as center of disaster response, humanitarian aid

Philippine Air Force (PAF) Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino dela Cruz said the Department of National Defense (DND) is keen on improving human assistance and disaster response facilities in Palawan to make it the center of its relief operations in the country.

Speaking before the wingmen of the 570th Composite Tactical Wing Thursday on the occasion of its 40th Foundation Day, Dela Cruz said part of the accomplishment targets of the PAF this year are towards improving human assistance and disaster relief response services due to the frequency of calamities taking place.

He said among those the PAF is looking forward to implementing soon are the rehabilitation of its radar system on Mount Salakot in Puerto Princesa to assist in the detection of any air activity over the province; and the deployment of two W-3A Sokol Helicopters from Poland.

The W-3A Sikol Helicopter is the first to be fully designed and serial-built in Poland. Dela Cruz said it is conventionally designed and constructed to perform a typical range of missions, including passenger transport, VIP cargo, medical evacuation, firefighting and search and rescue.

He added the helicopters will come from a batch of eight that the PAF will purchase, and will be further enhanced to serve in searches and rescue missions, as well as disaster response.

Aside from these, the PAF commanding general also announced that two additional hangars will be constructed at the Camp Antonio Bautista Airbase, the home of the 570th CTW, for other arriving air assets.

He added that PAF is also contributing to the plan to speed up the rehabilitation and repair of Rancudo Airstrip in the Kalayaan Chain of Islands to cater to the air assets of the Philippines that are deployed to monitor the countries territorial waters in the South China Sea.

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