Into the Second Millennium (1990's)

 

Curtiss HS-1L "Seagull" at Camp Claudio, Parañaque, 1920.

Curtiss HS-1L "Seagull" at Camp Claudio, Parañaque, 1920.

 

In the succeeding years, the PAF started to accumulate different aircrafts such as additional F-5As, then newly acquired S-211s, OV-10 Broncos and MD520 MGs, and SF-260 TPs from the years 1991 through 1998. This gradual increase in our air power potential was a response to the Modernization Program which was signed into a law on February 23, 1995 under Republic Act 7898. To further intensify the role of thePAF, the country signed various memoranda with other countries from 1994-1995. Singapore pledged to aide in military training and cooperation which was also arranged with Malaysia; South Korea on logistics and defense industry; France on Joint Training Exercises; and Australia on cooperative defense activities.

Curtiss HS-1L "Seagull" at Camp Claudio, Parañaque, 1920.

 

 

The additional C-130Bs played a part in ferrying relief teams from Yemen to Malaysia in 1994. These PAF heroes rendered services for the stranded OFWs bringing them back to their country. With the growing strength of the PAF and its necessity to spread its wings wider, the modernization program continued its assistance. From 1996-1997, Thailand, UK, Spain and Indonesia signed agreements for Military and Defense Cooperation. On the onset of the century, the PAF showed its thrust to stay parallel with the developing countries. These innovations prepared the PAF for the coming of the pristine millennium.

Curtiss HS-1L "Seagull" at Camp Claudio, Parañaque, 1920.

At the onset of the millennium, an enormous effort to supplement the Air Force evolution was put to action. In 1999, the Air Education and Training Command was organized (reorganizing the 100th Training Wing) in Fernando Air Base, Lipa City. This was followed by another transformation when the former Mactan Air Base was modernized into a complex civil-military air facility and was renamed to BGen Benito Ebuen Air Base (MBEAB).

Curtiss HS-1L "Seagull" at Camp Claudio, Parañaque, 1920.

The beginning of the new era proved to be notable for the PAF as it pursues total quality management in all its aspects from human resource down to its fixed assets. Following the creation of the Air Force City in Clark Air Base, Pampanga, the Tactical Operations Wing (TOW) in Clark was activated in 2001. The 560th and 530th Composite Tactical Wings were designated as the 2nd and 3rd TOW respectively. Furthermore, the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing was also transferred from VAB to MBEAB as the Air Power Institute was activated in FAB. These shifts were embodiments of the fresh administration being implemented. These steps to revolutionize the command led to the capture of other MILF camps and its final stronghold in Camp Abubakar in 2001. In the same manner, the restructured command demonstrated stability under the crumbling pressure of EDSA DOS. These celebrated victories were marked not only for the PAF to remember but also for the country to mark.

The menace of terrorism and its willing cohorts jolted the world in the 3rd quarter of 2001. The events that unfolded in the United States of America in the early hours of September 1, 2001 both shocked and angered peace-loving citizens of the world and sent defense institutions to closely look at the global security situation. World-wide awareness of determined groups out to kill and conduct sabotage provided impetus for leaders to fight back by adopting exacting and stringent systems and tactics. In the midst of continued threats of global terrorism creeping in, the PAF organized the 740th Combat Group under the 710th Special Operations Wing. The pledging unit, as dictated by its mother institution, bore the brunt of ISO operations such as combat reconnaissance patrols, mobile patrols, security, checkpoint and clearing operations and foot patrols carried out in critical areas threatened areas threatened by terrorists and extremists.