PACAF A-10s, HH-60s fly first air contingent missions in the Philippines

MANILA — Four A-10C Thunderbolt IIs and two HH-60G Pave Hawks, which comprise part of the U.S. Pacific Command’s Air Contingent deployed to the Philippine Air Force’s Clark Air Base, conducted their first flight out of Clark on April 19, 2016.

The deployment of the aircraft, which have remained behind in the Philippines after participating in Balikatan 2016, will include conducting operations such as air and maritime domain awareness, personnel recovery, combating piracy, and helping to assure that all nations have access to air and sea domains throughout the region in accordance with international law. All operations and deployments are planned and executed with the consent and cooperation of the Philippine government.

The April 19 maritime situational awareness operation took the A-10s and HH-60s through international airspace to the west of Luzon. Missions such as this one promote transparency and safety of movement in international waters and airspace, and showcase the U.S. commitment to ally and partner nations as well as to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region’s continued stability.

“Interoperability with the Philippine military is at the forefront of our mission,” said Col. Larry Card, Commander of the Air Contingent. “The standup of the Air Contingent promotes this collective focus as we build upon our already strong alliance, and reaffirm our commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”

All personnel in this deployment are Air Force Airmen assigned to various Pacific Air Forces bases, and include aircrew, maintainers, logistics and support personnel.#