By Francis Wakefield
The Philippine Air Force (PAF) will be receiving on Tuesday, March 19, UH-1 Huey aircraft spare parts and maintenance equipment donated by the Japanese government.
Major Aristedes M. Galang, the Chief of the PAF’s Public Affairs Office, said the acceptance, turn-over and blessing ceremony of the UH-1 spare parts and maintenance equipment from the Japanese Government through the Japan Ministry of Defense (JMOD) will be held at the Haribon Hangar, Air Force City, Clark Air Base, Pampanga.
Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana will be the guest of honor.
The program, which will start at about.10:30 a.m., will also be attended by high ranking officials from both JMOD and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Galang said the items to be donated by the Japanese government will be useful to PAF units with UH-1 helicopters such as the 505th Search and Rescue Group, and the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing that conducts humanitarian assistance, disaster response and airlift operations.
The PAF operates about 20 to 30 UH-1 helicopters.
The Japanese government earlier made available thousands of spare parts to help the PAF keep its fleet of Huey helicopters flying.
A source, who earlier requested anonymity, said the Japanese government offered the assorted spare parts as their fleet of Huey helicopters was starting to be depleted.
“Ano ‘yun, iti turn-over na sa atin kasi paubos na ‘yung Huey nila eh [it will be turned-over to us because their Huey is running low],” the source said.
The source added the only request made by the Japanese government was for the PAF to build a facility for the proper handling and storage of the spare parts.
“Ang request lang nila is gumawa tayo ng [Their only request is for us to build a] facility to store it properly. These are assorted spares for huey that can help in ensuring our fleet will be flying,” the source said.
The source said the offer by the Japanese govenment to provide PAF with spare parts for its Huey’s was done in 2017.