The Japan Air Self-Defense Force will conduct a bilateral training on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief with the Philippine Air Force on July 5-8, 2021, at Clark Air Base, Mabalacat City Pampanga.
In statemen, the Embassy of Japan stressed that the first air-to-air bilateral training between the two nations will mark a significant milestone for defense cooperation between them.
“We are grateful and honored to visit the Philippines and to conduct the first Air-to-Air Bilateral Training on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief with the Philippine Air Force, especially this year, which marks the 65th anniversary of Friendship and the 10th anniversary of Strategic Partnership between our countries,” unit commander Major Mizuno Masaki of the JASDF said, ahead of the training exercise.
Japan and the Philippines are vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons due to their climate and topography.
Masaki said Japan is proud to share with the PAF the JASDF’s experience and knowledge on delivery operations of relief goods to people in urgent need.
“Japan and the Philippines are both natural disaster-prone countries and there are so much we can share on disaster relief operations for saving lives and alleviating the suffering of people in need. We aim for achieving a higher level of coordination and operative capabilities on HA/DR through our training exercises with the PAF,” the Japanese air force official said.
During the exercise, the JASDF will deploy a training unit of Air Support Command—one C-130H cargo aircraft along with its personnel.
The unit will have a four-day joint training session with their Philippine counterparts, aimed at strengthening interoperability for delivering relief goods to affected people in isolated areas in severe emergency situations.
“The training exercise will include load/offload training and simulated airdrop training,” Masaki said, adding that the unit must strictly observe all COVID-19 health and safety guidelines and quarantine rules set by the Philippine Government particularly those of the IATF- EID upon deployment.
“As a strategic partner and friend of the Philippines, we hope that our bilateral training will contribute to further strengthen the cooperation between our two Air Forces,” he said.
The embassy also said that Japan reiterates the importance of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) which is inclusive and based on the rule of law, democratic values, territorial integrity, transparency, and peaceful resolution of disputes, and underscores its intention to work together with the Philippines and other partner countries through a wide range of activities and cooperation for peace, stability, and prosperity in our regions and beyond.
In 2013, JASDF extended assistance to the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in November.
Japan’s Ministry of Defense and the Japan Self-Defense Forces deployed in total 1,180 personnel, three vessels, and sixteen aircrafts, of which seven were C-130H cargo aircrafts for medical assistance and relief supply in affected areas.