MANILA, -- The country's fourth Lockheed C-130 cargo transport plane will formally be turned over to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) during short ceremonies at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City this April 12.
This will take place 2 p.m., said PAF spokesperson Col. Araus Robert Musico.
He said this C-130 has a tail number of 5011 and one of the two "T" models acquired from the US through the Excess Defense Articles Program.
Musico said Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin will act as the guest-of-honor during the turn over ceremony.
The fourth C-130 arrived 11:25 p.m. at Benito Ebuen Airbase, Mactan, Cebu last April 5.
It was flown by Filipino pilots headed by Col. Alejando Baclayon, Lt. Col. Ian Earth Lamzon, Major Ian Dexter Danes, Major Anthony Amora, and Major Ramil Daet.
The two C-130Ts are worth US$ 61 million.
Musico said the second aircraft is expected to arrive this September or October.
The aircraft took off from Tucson, Arizona early this week and made stopovers in California, Hawaii, Wake and Guam Islands before heading for the Philippines.
Arrival of these planes will boost the PAF's heavy lift capability.
"Remember if we need to move a big number of troops and supplies (especially) heavy equipment for rapid deployment, it will be much easier as we have additional (C-130) aircraft," Musico pointed out.
Originally, these two C-130Ts were configured for tanker missions and were later converted for transport missions before being acquired by the Philippines.
Aside from the C-130s, the PAF has three Airbus Military C-295 medium and three Fokker F-27 transports for its logistics and lift missions.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of staff General Hernando DCA Iriberri visited the AFP Central Command, Naval Forces Central and 2nd Air Division today (April 8), as part of his farewell tour.