Originally named Sangley Air Station, this Philippine Air Force Base is shared with the Philippine Navy Air Group and the Philippine Naval surface combatant fleet. It is located strategically in Sangley Point, Cavite and used by the United States Navy prior and during World War II until, It was handed over to the Philippine Government in 01 September 1971.
It was renamed Major Danilo Atienza Air Base (MDAAB) in honor of Major Danilo Atienza, an F-5A jet fighter pilot who failed to pull out during a bombing run and crashed in the area while leading a trio of F-5’s to destroy the RAM-SFP "air force" during the December 1989 Coup attempt. The Base houses the "Broncos", "TurboChargers" and "Defenders" aircraft of 15th Strike Wing. The so called "macho unit" of the PAF is responsible for the main close air support (CAS) and counter insurgency (COIN) air support operations of the AFP.
The MDAAB is located on a peninsula jutting into Manila Bay, not far from the center of Manila. It has a single 8,000 foot long runway and 4 helipads. The tip of the peninsula is known as Sangley Point, and the town surrounding it is known as Cavite City (Coordinates: 14o29'43 N, 120o54'14 E).
The Base traces its origins to the Spanish colonial period. The Spanish created shipyards, docks, a naval hospital, and other naval support facilities on the peninsula during their colonial presence in the Philippines. It was one of the first areas seized by US forces during the 1898 Spanish-American War during the Battle of Manila Bay. It subsequently became an important US naval support base.
During the Second World War the facility was bombed by the Japanese on 10 December 1941, and was occupied a month later. The Americans retook the peninsula in 1945 and after the war it was officially named Naval Air Base, Sangley Point. In 1955, the name was changed to Naval Air Station, Sangley Point.
On 1 September 1971, the Base was turned over to the Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force, with the facility being renamed Sangley Point Air Base. The 2 major services to operated the facility jointly.
During the December 1989 coup attempt, the base was siezed by rebellious military personnel. During the brief period of combat between loyalist and revolutionary elements of the military, a squadron of F-5A's led by Major. Danilo Atienza repeatedly bombed and strafed Sangley Point Air Base, destroying several warplanes belonging to the coup forces. Unfortunately, Major Atienza's plane crashed during the otherwise successful operation, and he was killed. After the coup was put down, Sangley Point Air Base was renamed as the Major Danilo Atienza Air Base in 1992.
As of 2012 the Base was home to the Philippine Air Force's 15th Strike Wing. It was also home to the Philippine Navy's MF-30 and MF-40 Squadrons and Naval Air School Center (NATS-50).