The United States has turned over the first of two C-130H Hercules aircraft to the Department of National Defense led by Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, which is intended to strengthen the logistical capacity of the Philippine military, particularly the Philippine Air Force.
During the turnover ceremony on Thursday, Chargé d’Affaires John Law, alongside representatives from the US Embassy in the Philippines’ Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group, handed over the C-130H aircraft to Lorenzana and the PAF leadership.
The transfer of the aircraft worth P1.54 billion ($32.2 million) to the PAF was made possible through the Foreign Military Financing grant program aimed at strengthening the Philippine military’s logistical capacity for military and civil support operations, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and the distribution of COVID-19 supplies.
The C-130H Hercules is capable of a maximum payload of 19,000 kilograms, with a flying range of more than 1,900 kilometers.
The 220 Airlift Wing at the Philippine Air Force Brigadier General Benito N. Ebuen Air Base in Cebu will own and operate the aircraft.
“The C-130 is a proven aircraft and has demonstrated its reach and capability to deliver COVID-19 supplies across the country over the past year. We hope this additional aircraft will continue to be a steady workhorse for the Philippine Air Force for years to come,” Law said in his speech.
The US, as a longstanding ally of the Philippines, continues to provide support to the Armed Forces of the Philippines through grants and expedited sales of arms and munitions to assist with urgent logistical and HADR requirements, bolster long-term AFP modernization goals and buttress maritime security and counterterrorism efforts. Rey E. Requejo
The Philippines is by far the largest recipient of US military assistance in the Indo-Pacific region.
Since 2015, the US government has delivered more than P37 billion ($765 million) worth of planes, ships, armored vehicles, small arms, and other military equipment to the Philippines, while also training side-by-side with Filipino allies, the US embassy statement said.