By Francis Wakefield
CLARK AIR BASE, PAMPANGA – The Japanese government has turned over its donation of UH-1 Huey aircraft spare parts and maintenance equipment to the Philippine Air Force during the turnover and blessing ceremony held here Tuesday, March 19.
The initial spare parts and maintenance equipment donated to the PAF is worth 424 million yen (P200 million).
The total amount of the whole donation package is approximately 5.3 billion yen (P2.5 billion) which covers the different systems such as the airframe structure, dynamic power system, control system, rotor system, hydraulic system, electrical system, instrument system and accessory items.
The remaining items are scheduled for shipment to the Philippines via a Philippine Navy vessel on August 2019.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who was the guest of honor during the event, thanked his Japanese counterpart, Defense Minister Gen. Nakatani, for the donations and for the other very timely defense assistance such as the five units TC-90 Naval Reconnaissance/Patrol Aircrafts that are now patrolling our territorial seas.
“With the latest donation, the Philippine Air Force could now start the restoration of several “Huey” assets parked in its hangars and bring them back to operational status again,” Lorenzana said in his speech.
“With more UH-1H flying our skies, our airlift/HADR response and reconnaissance capabilities would be enhanced,” he added.
The formal signing of the donation of the spare parts was completed last March 12 at the Japan Ministry of Defense Facitliy with Defense Undersecretary Raymundo DV Elefante representing the Philippine government.
Others present in the activity were the Commander of the Air Logistics Command, Major General Allen T. Paredes; the Commander of the Air Mobility Command, Maj. Gen..Alejandro A. Baclayon, and the Wing Commander of the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing, Col. Rene Raoul Rommel DC Honasan.