23 Juli 2014
USAF C130 Hercules (photo : avioners)
MANILA, Philippines — The United States will give two Lockheed C-130 "Hercules" planes to the Philippines, newly appointed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang revealed.
In a state report, Catapang disclosed the impending donation in a visit to the 1st Air Division headquarters in Clark Field, Pampanga, citing American military officials.
"I just talked to our US counterparts [and] they told us they are making available another two C-130s to address our humanitarian assistance disaster relief concerns," Catapang said.
The United States military has deployed a humanitarian mission to the Visayas after the onslaught of deadly typhoon Yolanda, which took thousands of lives and destroyed countless homes.
Catapang said that the Americans extended the offer after learning of President Aquino's plans to acquire new cargo aircrafts for the military.
The existing C-130 planes of the Air Force figured heavily in the transport of relief goods for victims of typhoon Yolanda and equipment needed by government troops involved in the efforts last year.
In November last year, former AFP chief Gen. Emmanuel Bautista announced that the country seeks to procure two more C-130 planes to improve disaster relief operations.
"We are in the process of acquiring two more C-130s. As you very well know, we only have three C-130s. In terms of strategic lift, C-130s are very important," Bautista said.
Ideally, he said the Philippine Air Force should have at least nine C-130s.