Friday, November 5, 2021

EastMinCom’s Air Power Boosted with 4 Newly Acquired Black Hawk Choppers

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City – The Armed Forces of the Philippines, in a bid to enhance the operational capabilities of its frontline units, assigned four new S-70i Blackhawk helicopters to Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) which are expected to amplify its air capabilities especially in conducting intensified military combat operations, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response during calamities.

This came a week after the death of Jorge Madlos alias “Ka Oris,” a notorious Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) leader, in a legitimate encounter with the security forces of EastMinCom in the hinterland of Impasug-ong, Bukidnon on October 30, 2021.

The four new air assets, two of which are stationed at Tactical Operations Wing Eastern Mindanao (TOW-EM), Davao Air Station, Barangay Sasa, Davao City, and another two at Tactical Operations Group 10 Headquarters, Lumbia Airport, Cagayan de Oro, City, were formally received by BGen. Maurito L. Licudine, the Deputy Commander of EastMinCom, and LtCol. Omar FridzKhan S. Alpa, the Officer-in-Charge of TOW-EM/Group Commander of Tactical Operations Group 11 on November 4.

The S-70i Black Hawk helicopter is the latest in the family of Black Hawk multi-mission aircraft built by Poland-based Sikorsky Aircraft subsidiary PZL Mielec. These air assets can be configured according to specific missions including troops transport and air assault, command and control, border patrol, search and rescue, disaster response, cargo lift, and VIP transport.

EastMinCom Commander LtGen. Greg T. Almerol said that these new air assets will enhance the troops’ mobility in the fight against the CTG including the ability to conduct Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations, especially that troops in Eastern Mindanao have always been on the frontlines during natural calamities and disasters.

Aside from that, LtGen. Almerol said that these new air assets will also help the troops of EastMinCom attain its goal of ending the local communist armed conflict by 2022 as it will advance its intensified focused military operations against the CTG.

“The arrival of these Black Hawk choppers happened at a very opportune time to aid our hardworking troops in the pursuit of genuine peace and development in Eastern Mindanao. There is no doubt that these air capabilities will improve the conduct of military operations against the CTG and other threat groups both on land and sea,” LtGen. Almerol said.

The EastMinCom Commander also expressed his gratitude to the Commander-in-Chief and President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for his continued support in improving military capabilities, adding that the president has always been responsive to the needs of the military in order to protect the interest of the country and the people.

Source: Public Information Office, Eastern Mindanao Command, AFP

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