Airlifters Join Balikatan Exercise 2017

11 May 2017

The annual Philippines-US military exercise or BALIKATAN (BK) 2017 has officially begun in various locations in the country, particularly in Cebu where the 220th Airlift Wing of the Philippine Air Force is stationed.

BK is annual exercise conducted under the auspices of Philippines-United States Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) that aims to improve bilateral engagement and training opportunities between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the US Marine Forces Pacific (US MAFOPAC).

For calendar year 2017, selected aircrew and maintenance personnel of 220th AW led by the Herky Commander, Major Anthony R Amora PAF, and the Wing’s Balikatan Officer-in-Charge, Major Michael Vincent Benolerao PAF, will be directly involved in the different C-130-related Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) discussions. These activities will reinforce the knowledge, skills, and ability of our airlifters in the techniques, tactics and procedures including sharing of best practices, specifically on improving response effectiveness in the event of natural disasters and other crises, which is the focus of this year’s BK.

Activities such as the actual conduct of air drops within the island of Cebu will be carried out. Under this exercise, US aircrew will teach the PAF C-130 aircrew with various techniques in airdropping procedures to expedite the delivery of relief supplies and aid affected areas without aerodromes and/or damaged aerodromes. In addition, some of the pre-determined topics of the BK will include flight safety, air drop, night vision equipment, engine running on load and off-load, rapid deployment, and compass system.

courtesy of 220th AW