By Francis Wakefield
The Philippine Navy through the Naval Air Group (NAG) conducted today activation and blessing ceremony of the Beechcraft King Air C-90 Aircraft held at Hangar 2, Headquarters Naval Air Group, Naval Base Heracleo Alano, Sangley Point, Cavite City.
Lt. Sahirul A. Taib, the fleet public affairs officer, said the activity was formally opened by Captain Juario C. Marayag, the commander of the Naval Air Group.
In his remarks, Marayag said the aircraft donated by Japan would help boost the Naval Air Group Air Operations and Maritime Air Surveillance capabilities.
He said the aircraft would also enhance the skills of the naval aviators and maintenance personnel in handling modern equipment.
“This platform will serve as the gradual transition from the humble Britten Norman Islanders to a much faster, higher and more fixed wing squadron,” he said.
Rear Admiral Gaudencio C. Collado Jr., the commander of the Philippine Fleet and who served as the guest of honor during the activity, said the C90 would have a big role in the maritime air surveillance, which is a critical component of naval operations.
“It provides a bigger and better perspective of the operating environment which is crucial for decision making because it will determine the type of capability needed to address a certain threat,” Collado said.
Soon after its tail number of C90 aircraft was revealed as Naval Vessel (NV) 390, it was blessed with holy water. To finally complete the activation of the aircraft, the sponsor, Mrs. Arlene Liberty Collado poured a bottle of wine on the aircraft nozzle.
“The Naval Air Group of the Philippine Fleet truly deserves this modern equipment donated by the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force,” Collado said.
“It will boost the capability of the Philippine and enhances the capacity of its personnel primarily in conducting maritime security and sovereignty patrols, as the Navy true to its commitment to protect the seas and secure the nation’s future,” he added.
It was recalled that two units of Beechcraft TC-90 training aircraft arrived in March at the Naval Air Group (NAG), Naval Base Haracleo Alano, Sangley Point, Cavite City.
Three other planes are expected to arrive in the country in the first quarter of 2018.