Thursday, May 22, 2014

2 Philippine AW-109E 'Power' choppers deployed on maiden mission

From the Philippine News Agency (May 21): 2 Philippine AW-109E 'Power' choppers deployed on maiden mission

Two of the AgustaWestland AW-109E "Power" helicopters of the Philippine Fleet were deployed on their maiden mission Wednesday.

Lt. (JG) Rommel Rodriquez, Philippine Fleet spokesperson, said the send-off ceremony took place at the flight line of the Naval Air Group (NAG) headquarters in Sangley Point, Cavite City.

The NAG operates three AW-109Es, with two more armed versions, expected to be delivered before the end of year.

Since its acquisition from Italy last December, the pilots and crew of the helicopters with tail numbers, PNH-431 and PNH-432, underwent a continuous training program and had completed the required proficiency ratings necessary for their deployment to the operational areas.

The maiden flight was inaugurated by the Philippine Fleet head Rear Admiral Jaime S. Bernardino.

He said that the helicopters will support the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ operations to help protect the nation’s territorial integrity and sovereignty by complementing its naval operating assets in the area.

He added that this will be the first time helicopters will be integrated afloat with the Philippine Navy’s capital ships, BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF-15) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16).

Bernardino said, the pilots and crew have undergone rigorous training to meet an optimal condition of readiness for the air assets and are ready to undertake their mandated missions.

The pilots of PNH-431 are Lt. Cmdrs. Herbert June Dang-Awan and Leo Penacerada, while PNH-432 is piloted by Lt. Cmdrs. Rowene Colita and Ariel Joseph Coloma.

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