THE first temporary detachment of US Navy EA-18G Growler airborne electronic attack aircraft is in the Philippines for a training with Filipino FA-50 pilots, the US Navy Task Force 70 said Thursday.
The detachment arrived at Clark Air Base in Pampanga on Wednesday, June 15.
Besides bilateral training missions, the Growler aircraft will support routine operations that enhance regional maritime domain awareness and assure access to the air and maritime domains in accordance with international law, the task force said in a statement.
The detachment is composed of four aircraft and about 120 personnel assigned to the VAQ 138 expeditionary squadron based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington.
Previous VAQ 138 detachments like this one have completed deployments to locations throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific and participated in several exercises with allies and partners.
It is part of a US Air Contingent established by US Pacific Command in April with the approval of the Philippine government to promote interoperability and security cooperation.
The AFP offered to host the US Air Contingent at Clark Air Base to train with their FA-50 fighter pilots and support units which are located there.
The first temporary Air Contingent was comprised of five A-10C Thunderbolt aircraft, three HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters and approximately 200 personnel deployed from multiple Pacific Air Forces units.