• US planes to monitor West PH Sea – Lorenzana

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    The two new planes donated by the United States will be used to monitor the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Friday.

    Philippine Air Force (PAF) pilots check on a Cessna-208B Grand Caravan Intelligence, Surveillance and Recoinnaissance (ISR) aircraft acquired through grant programmes by the the US government to the PAF during a formal turn-over ceremony at the PAF headquarters in Manila. AFP Photo

    The Philippine Air Force on Thursday received two Cessna-208B surveillance aircraft. Lorenzana said the planes will be equipped with sensors and will also be used in “conflict areas” in Mindanao.

    He added that the aircraft will also monitor the West Philippine Sea, Philippine Rise (Benham) and Sulu Sea “once in a while.”

    [These planes will fly] in about a month since sensors, including cameras, will be attached,” Lorenzana told The Manila Times in a text message.

    “They will be used all over the Philippines, maritime areas and land areas,” he added.

    In November last year, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) received two C-130 planes from the US.
    Lorenzana said the two Cessna planes will also be used in monitoring high value targets, locating enemy lairs, encampment and fortifications.

    “These aircraft are also intended to help address terrorism and support our intelligence, surveillance and reconnaisance operations of the Philippine Air Force and the entire AFP in particular,” he added.

    The Defense chief said the military is also waiting for the unmanned aerial vehicle units that the US will turn over this year.

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