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With 3rd C-130 commissioned, Air Force boosts cargo assets

PAF commissions on Friday its newly refurbished C-130B, a UH-IH and a rainmaking plane (LC-210). JAIME SINAPIT, INTERAKSYON.COM
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines – Forced by circumstance to do with only one C-130 as its “work horse” for four years, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) will continue to redress its fleet scarcity with the commissioning of a locally refurbished C-130 on Friday at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

It’s the third cargo plane to become operational since the military started to reverse the pathetic one-workhorse plane status, a project with a price tag of P579-million.

Leading the formal turnover and blessing of the first ever locally maintained C-130B Nr 3633 is PAF commander Lt. Gen. Lauro Catalino Dela Cruz.

The plane’s first mission suits the challenge of climate change well: it will be used for disaster response such as the delivery of relief goods, medicines, food supplies and construction materials to areas ravaged by the recent super-typhoon “Pablo” in Davao Oriental and Compostela.

“Our newly refurbished C-130 will take its first official flight to deliver food and construction materials in the typhoon-stricken areas in Mindanao,” Dela Cruz said.

 Other assets also turned over

PAF spokesman Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol said other air and ground assets will also be turned over Friday.

“Aside from the C-130B, we will also have one LC-210 Nr 227 – a plane for rainmaking, a refurbished UH-IH nr 370 and 12 M-35 trucks,” Okol said.

The project, he said, costs a total of P579.4 million.

“As to our newly refurbished C-130B, in 2010 we ventured for an in-country Depot Level Maintenance Capability using available manpower and resources with the conduct of Structural Maintenance Program of C-130B. A Project Management Team and a Task Force composed of personnel from Air Logistics Command, 200th Air Lift Wing and 410th Maintenance Wing, was organized for this critical yet rewarding project,” Okol said.

According to Okol, the cargo plane was refurbished in Clark Air Base in Pampanga, the Headquarters of the 1st Air Division, by PAF’s technicians with the supervision of Lockheed.

“With the completion of the C-130 project we have now three cargo planes. If you remember, kamakailan lamang ay dumating ‘yung isa natin na refurbished din from the United States. So medyo gumaan na ang trabaho ng dating nag-iisa nating C-130 dahil tatlo na sila [recently we saw the arrival of one refurbished cargo plane from the US. So the load of our solitary C-130 has been eased; now there are three],” Okol said.