• US aircraft flies first contingent missions

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    US Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of South Korea

    US Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of South Korea

    As part of the US Pacific Command’s Air Contingent deployed in Clark, Pampanga, four A-10C Thunderbolt IIs and two HH-60G Pave Hawks conducted their first flight out.

    The deployment of the aircraft, which have remained behind in the Philippines after participating in Balikatan 2016, will include conducting operations such as air and maritime domain awareness, personnel recovery, combating piracy, and helping to assure that all nations have access to air and sea domains throughout the region in accordance with international law.

    All operations and deployments are planned and executed with the consent and cooperation of the Philippine government.

    “Interoperability with the Philippine military is at the forefront of our mission,” said Col. Larry Card, Commander of the Air Contingent. “The standup of the Air Contingent promotes this collective focus as we build upon our already strong alliance, and reaffirm our commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”

    The April 19 maritime situational awareness operation took the A-10s and HH-60s through international airspace to the west of Luzon. Missions such as this one promote transparency and safety of movement in international waters and airspace, and showcase the US commitment to ally and partner nations, as well as to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region’s continued stability.

    All personnel in this deployment are Air Force Airmen assigned to various Pacific Air Forces bases, and include aircrew, maintainers, logistics and support personnel.

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