THE Philippine Air Force will be showing its pilots’ flight proficiency before President-elect Rodrigo Duterte when he makes his first appearance in a military function as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on July 5, a military official disclosed on Tuesday.
Col. Robert Araus Musico, Air Force spokesman, said Duterte will be given the usual parade and review as he graces the Air Force’s celebration of its 69th anniversary at the Haribon Hangar inside Clark Air Base in Pampanga.
This year’s anniversary theme is: “PAF @ 69: Breaking barriers, realizing aspirations towards a Jointly Engaged Transforming Force for greater peace and security.”
“It will be the first time the President would be seeing the Armed Forces underneath the microscope of the Air Force, in short the Air Force would be the microcosm of AFP if he will look at it since this will be the first time that he will attend a military function as President,” Musico said.
During the event, the Air Force will recognize the Air Force units and individuals who made significant accomplishments in the past year.
Prior to the actual anniversary program, an air show will be performed by the Air Force Aerobatic Demonstration Team from Air Education and Training Command, featuring a high-speed opener pass of two FA-50PH, a figure “69” formation of eleven T-41 and eleven SF-260FH/M, a flyby of 69 various PAF aircraft conducted simultaneously with pass and review, a drop from two C-130 aircraft of 69 PAF parachutists for the mass jump exhibition and final pass of two S-211 aircraft.
Musico said besides the traditional fly-by, the Air Force would be showing to Duterte its new aircraft acquisition.
The “show,” according to Musico is not necessarily a capability demonstration but a flight proficiency performance of Air Force pilots, particularly on formation flights.
The actual date of the anniversary is on July 1, but Air Force officials have decided to give Duterte ample time to adjust his schedule after his inauguration on June 30.
Musico said Duterte, through his executive assistant Christopher Go, confirmed that he will be attending the Air Force anniversary.