10 April 2016
|The Philippine Air Force (PAF)’s fourth operating Lockheed C-130T aircraft has landed at Benito Ebuen Airbase, Mactan, Cebu Tuesday, one of two orders from the United States. |
“It landed around 11:25 p.m. last Tuesday night at Benito Ebuen Air Base in Mactan from Guam,” PAF spokesperson Col. Araus Roberto Musico said.
The C-130T, the first out of a pair acquired through the US Excess Defense Articles Program worth PHP2.5 billion (US provided $20 million in Foreign Military Financing for the purchase).
It was flown by Filipino pilots headed by Col. Alejando Baclayon, Lt. Col. Ian Earth Lamzon, Major Ian Dexter Danes, Major Anthony Amora, and Major Ramil Daet. The aircraft took off from Tucson, Arizona early this week and made stopovers in California, Hawaii, Wake and Guam Islands before heading for the Philippines.
It will join the 220th Airlift Wing by April 13. Musico said second aircraft is expected to arrive in October.
Arrival of these planes will boosts the PAF’s heavy lift capability. “Remember if we need to move a big number of troops and supplies (especially) heavy equipment for rapid deployment, it will be much easier as we have additional (C-130) aircraft,” Musico pointed out.
Originally, these two C-130Ts were configured for tanker missions and were later converted for transport missions before being acquired by the Philippines.
Aside from the C-130s, the PAF has three Airbus Military C-295 medium tactical military transport aircraft and three Fokker F-27 transports for its logistics and lift missions. PNA