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U.S. turns over two surveillance planes to the Philippines

PASAY CITY – The United States has donated to the Philippines two Cessna C208B planes to enhance the Philippines Air Force’s counterterrorism capabilities.

U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y. Kim, joined by Deputy Commander, Pacific Command, Lt. Gen. Bryan Fenton and representatives from the U.S. Embassy, turned over the new Cessna 208B planes to Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Gen. Eduardo Año and Commanding General of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) Lt. Gen. Edgar Fallorina in a ceremony held at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City on July 27, 2017.

The two new planes, valued at Php 1.67 billion, were delivered to Lt. Gen. Fallorina, through the U.S. National Defense Authorization Act Building Partnership Capacity Program. The delivery is the latest donation from the United States government, which over the last five years has allocated more than Php15 billion of grant funding to provide the AFP with up-to-date equipment and training. The equipment transfers, training, and continued bilateral exercises demonstrate the commitment of the United States to work with the Philippines in building capabilities towards eradicating global terror networks.

Since 2007, representatives from the Joint United States Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) in the Philippines have delivered and programmed more than Php7.4 billion worth of military equipment to the AFP to enhance counterterrorism capabilities. In addition, the AFP has procured small-arms weapons, maritime assault boats, vehicles, unmanned aerial systems, and personal protective equipment as part of the U.S. government’s security assistance programs.

The PAF’s 300th Air Intelligence and Security Group (300 AISG), based out of Edwin Andrews Air Base in Zamboanga will operate the two new C-208B aircraft. 300 AISG is the leading unit for air intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance operations for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The Cessna 208B aircraft will enhance the PAF’s counterterrorism capabilities, and help protect AFP members actively engaged in counterterrorism operations in the southern Philippines, to include Marawi. Equipped with advanced sensors, cameras and communications equipment, these aircraft will significantly enhance the ability of the AFP to locate terrorist groups operating in Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago.

Meanwhile, officials from the Joint United States Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) recently delivered 1,040 2.75” rocket motors and 992 2.75″ rockets to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) through the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) to enhance the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) counterterrorism efforts. They are part of a series of upcoming transfers from the U.S. military to multiple branches of the AFP through both MLSA and the security assistance program. Through the MLSA, the AFP is able to receive select munitions and equipment from U.S. military stock in an accelerated process reserved for allies and close partners of the United States.

The munitions and weapons deliveries will enhance the AFP’s counterterrorism capabilities, and directly support AFP members actively engaged in counterterrorism operations in the southern Philippines, including Marawi. Upcoming weapons deliveries include 250 rocket-propelled grenade launchers and 1,000 M203 grenade launchers delivered to the Philippine Army through the security assistance program.

The United States, as a steadfast ally of the Philippines, continues to provide support to the AFP through both grant assistance and expedited sales of arms and munitions to support both long-term AFP modernization goals and urgent counterterrorism requirements#

The United States, as a steadfast ally of the Philippines, continues to provide support to the AFP through both grant assistance and expedited sales of arms and munitions to support both long-term AFP modernization goals and urgent counterterrorism requirements#