The first of the three brand-new Airbus C295M (M stands for Military) medium lift fixed-wing aircraft under the PAF’s modernization program was blessed and formally turned over to the Philippine Air Force in a formal ceremony with the Secretary of National Defense (SND), Honorable Voltaire Gazmin as Guest of Honor last March 30, 2015 at around 8am in front of the Grandstand of Col Jesus Villamor Air Base.
The aircraft arrived Clark Air Base from Seville, Spain last March 22, 2015 where it has undergone successful acceptance process. The second and third C295M aircraft shall be delivered by 2016 but early delivery before the end of 2015 is possible.
Aside from SND, other important personalities were also present including the Ambassador of Spain, Honorable Luis Calvo and Chief of Staff, AFP, GEN GREGORIO PIO P CATAPANG JR AFP.
The activity included the symbolic turn-over of C295M aircraft documents by representative from Airbus Defence and Space to SND, CS,AFP, Commanding General, PAF, LTGEN JEFFREY F DELGADO AFP, Commander, Air Logistics Command, MGEN ISAGANI P SILVA AFP and Wing Commander, 220th Airlift Wing, BGEN JOSE G MIRANDILLA JR AFP.
The media also interviewed pioneering pilots of the C295M including MAJ THORSTEN AGELLO BAUTISTA PAF and a female pilot, CAPTAIN GERALDINE ABIGAIL MATIENZO PAF. When asked how the pilots feel on the arrival of the new aircraft, CPT MATIENZO likened the feeling to the excitement of having a new car and expressed her pride as a pioneer pilot of said aircraft.
The CG,PAF, in his welcome remarks, is proud to be given this great opportunity to bear witness to solid developments in the Philippine Air Force. He said that the PAF will be more responsive and swift in carrying its mission in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response operations, ferrying AFP personnel and logistics to any part of the country as PAF's contribution to government’s peace and development efforts.
(Photo by TSgt Bruna, SSgt Mohammad and A2C Yupangco, PAF PIO)