Bluebirds 48th Founding Anniversary And Command Visit Of The AFP Commander-In-Chief In The PAF

Submitted by AFPAO on Wed, 07/04/2018 - 15:52

In celebration of its 48 years of existence, the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing (PAW) “Bluebirds” has proven its versatility and resiliency as the primary unit of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) tasked to fly the President to places of his official engagement safely and securely, as well as, members of the First Family, visiting heads of state, and VIPs. As it marks its 48th Founding Anniversary with the theme, “Bluebirds@48: InJETuity”, the celebration was made even special with the presence of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Commander-in-Chief, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, as Guest of Honor. p align="justify">16 September 2016

Upon his arrival, full military honors was accorded to the President on September 13, 2016 in front of the 250th PAW Fixed-Wing Hangar with the PAF Commanding General, Lieutenant General Edgar R Fallorina AFP, as military host. He was greeted by the welcoming party led by the PAF Vice Commander, Major General Conrado V Parra Jr. AFP together with the Chief of Air Staff, Major General Rozanno D Briguez AFP; Air Force Inspector General, Major General Ruben L Carandang AFP; selected PAF Unit Commanders, HPAF Staff, and Air Force Wide-Support and Separate Unit (AFWSSU) Commanders. p align="justify">16 September 2016

To celebrate the Wing’s achievements and milestones, units and individuals were awarded with plaques of merit and streamers for their outstanding performance and positive contribution to the Wing. The following are: p align="justify">16 September 2016

Officer of the Year (Rated Category) – Major Edson Carlo M Tadea PAF; Officer of the Year (Non-Rated Category) – Major Marc Antony M Songgadan PAF; Non-Commission Officer of the Year – SSg Rogelio G Luis Jr. PAF; Airman of the Year – A1C James D Geromo PAF; Civilian Supervisor of the Year – Mrs Marcelina D Magnaye CE; Squadron of the Year (Flying Category) – 252nd Presidential Airlift Squadron; Squadron of the Year (Support Category) – 481st Field Maintenance Squadron; Blueprint 2028 Compliance Stage Award – 480th Maintenance and Supply Group; and Flight Safety Trophy – 252nd Presidential Airlift Squadron. p align="justify">16 September 2016

Plaques of appreciation were also given to the Philippine Airlines, Manila International Airport Authority, Lufthansa Technik Philippines, Manila Control Tower, and Airport Police Department in recognition of the invaluable contributions they have rendered to the 250th PAW. p align="justify">16 September 2016

This year’s celebration has been very remarkable as former Philippine Presidents paid tribute to the unit’s anniversary, in a form of a video. Former Presidents such as Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph E. Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Benigno S. Aquino III shared their heartfelt gratitude to the “Bluebirds” for bringing them safe and secure wherever their official engagement would take them. They also commended the skilled pilots and crew of the 250th PAW, and praised the unit for its effort to maintain the operational readiness of the aircraft. Moreover, a number of past Wing Commanders were present to grace the occasion. p align="justify">16 September 2016

According to the 250th PAW Wing Commander, Colonel Allen T Paredes PAF (MNSA), InJETuity, the unit’s theme, was the result of combining the words “Ingenuity” and the Command’s thrust of a Jointly Engaged and Transforming Force or JET Force. “Ingenuity refers to skills and creativity to think, act, and create ideas that allows one to solve problems. JET Force is the PAF’s plan to improve capability,” he said. p align="justify">16 September 2016

In line with the President’s proclamation, Colonel Paredes has proven that change has truly come. He made mention of some of the unit’s capabilities such as the development of its two night vision goggles that are used by pilots in flying the Presidential helicopters even in the darkest of nights. In support of the first Mindanaoan President, an advance command post (ATP) has also been built in Davao City. Moreover, with a new strategic plan, the breakthrough goals of the Bluebirds do not only position them as a VIP airlift provider, but more importantly, as a command and control facility of the President. p align="justify">16 September 2016

The President, in return, extended his warmest greetings to the men and women of the 250th PAW for their services rendered even when he was still the Mayor of Davao City. In his speech, he has given the approval for the extension of the quarters and repair of some PAF barracks. He also announced to improve some of the facilities and equipment of the AFP Medical Center in V-Luna, Quezon City for better medical services. He cascaded the plans he has for the PAF in relation to his administration’s thrust in the aspect of national defense and security, and the campaign against criminality and illegal drugs. He encouraged the senior officers of the PAF to study the purchase of platforms intended for counter insurgency operations to achieve the country’s peace and security. The President also directed senior defense and military officials to look at the equipment Russia is offering that may have use for our defense requirements. p align="justify">16 September 2016

A Command Briefing for the President followed at the Conference Hall of the Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Intelligence, A-2 at HPAF. Immediately after, a “Talk-to-the-Airmen” was conducted at the PAF Multi-purpose Gymnasium attended by selected PAF Commanders, Coordinating Staff, Officers, Enlisted Personnel and Civilian Employees. During the President’s engagement with the troops, their morale and welfare was looked into. Additionally, he showed his support to the PAF’s modernization plan vis-a-vis the AFP’s new policy for national defense – a renewed focus on counter insurgency operations. p align="justify">16 September 2016

After the talk, President Duterte cheerfully posed for photos together with his staff and PAF personnel. A boodle fight followed afterwards.