The Commanding General of the Philippine Air Force, Lieutenant General Edgar R Fallorina AFP, flew to Yogyakarta, Indonesia on September 6, 2016 to attend the 13th ASEAN Air Chiefs Conference (AACC), which was hosted by the Indonesian Air Force (IDAF). Air Chief Marshal Agus Supriatna, IDAF Chief of Staff (COS) chaired the AACC activities.
The AACC is an annual meeting that started in 2004. The outputs of the conferences held previously have been the bases for cooperation of many policies and agreements among the Air Force of ASEAN member countries especially in dealing with issues on counterinsurgency, maintaining peace and security in the region, and non-traditional security threats. This year, the Air Chiefs focused on discussing the challenges faced by ASEAN Air Forces particularly in combating terrorism, as well as, disaster preparedness in Southeast Asian countries.
With high hopes to significantly contribute in creating the regional peace and security through air diplomacy, Air Force Chiefs of ten (10) ASEAN countries have once again shown their commitment during the 13th AACC. Together with the CG, PAF who attended the conference are the following: Brigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Shahril Anwar bin Haji Ma'awiah, Commander of Royal Brunei Air Force; General Soeung Samnang, Commander of Royal Cambodian Air; Brigadier General Khamphat Phimmahaxay, Chief of Air Force Department of the Ministry of National Defense of Lao PDR; General Tan Sri Dato Sri Roslan bin Saad, Chief of Royal Malaysian Air Force; General Khin Aung Myint, Air Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar Air Force; Major General Mervyn Tan Wei Ming, Chief of Air Force Republic of Singapore Air Force; Air Chief Marshal Treetod Sonjance, Commander-in-Chief of Royal Thai Air Force; and Lieutenant General Le Huy Vinh, Commander of Air Force and Air Defense of Vietnamese People's Army.
Upon arrival, the ASEAN Air Chiefs paid courtesy call on the COS IDAF and proceeded to the Indonesian Air Force Academy where they were greeted by the cadets with their drum band performance. The IDAF Jupiter Aerobatic Team also displayed their skills in front of the delegation in a flypass and air display. After the exhibitions, a tree planting activity was conducted.
Air Chief Agus Supriatna officially opened the 13th AACC. On the second day, as chairman of the conference, he extended his warm welcome and sincere gratitude to all ASEAN Air Chiefs. The IDAF felt privileged to have hosted the conference for the second time. With this year's theme, "ASEAN Air Diplomacy to Maintain Regional Peace and Security," he expected the Air Chiefs to share their experiences, knowledge, and views to better implement the air diplomacy and maintain regional peace and security.
During the exchange of views among ASEAN Air Chiefs, Lt Gen Fallorina accentuated, in his presentation, the important facet of air power in ASEAN region such as partnership that is based on common interest, friendship, and higher humanity. He added that through air diplomacy, they would be able to help others and build bridges of goodwill as evidenced by the PAF's current engagements with other ASEAN counterparts at the bilateral and multilateral levels. He believed that by examining the areas of opportunities, cooperation and professional development can be achieved, specifically the area on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR).
After the session, Air Chief Agus Supriatna officially launched the AACC website on behalf of all ASEAN Air Chiefs. The delegation then discussed and adopted the minutes of the 13th AACC.
Immediately after, Air Chief Agus Supriatna handed over the chairmanship of the AACC to Lt Gen Fallorina who will host the 14th AACC next year. The CG, PAF in return, expressed his pleasure as he anticipates hosting the 14th AACC in 2017. He invited all ASEAN Air Chiefs and their delegation to attend the conference, which will be held in April 2017 in Manila.
In closing, the chairman of the 13th AACC wrapped up the outcome of the conference. He expressed his sincere thanks to all ASEAN Air Chiefs for their active contributions as well as valuable and constructive comments on the agenda of this year’s conference. He underlined that the meetings and conferences will pave a way to enhance, broaden, and strengthen their cooperation. He also encouraged the attendees to fully implement the best practices and lessons learned.
On the third day, some of the Air Chiefs had a friendly golf at Merapi Golf Club while non-golfer delegates took a cultural visit. The delegates had the chance, afterwards, to join their spouses in visiting Indonesia’s single most visited tourist attraction, the Borobudur Temple. A gift exchange between the COS IDAF and the ASEAN Air Chiefs was then held during their Everlasting Friendship Dinner. The COS spouse, Mrs. Bryantira Agus Supriatna, also exchanged gifts with the ASEAN Air Chiefs’ spouses.