02 June 2017

With the ongoing surge of hostility inflicted by the ISIS-linked Maute and Abu Sayaff terrorists in Marawi City, the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing (THW) of the Philippine Air Force shuns all sorts of hindrance to display utmost level of patriotism and selfless service for the country.

When the clash between the government and terrorist group ignited, the 205th THW Flight composed of two UH-1 Helicopters with tail numbers 225 from the 206th Tactical Helicopter Squadron and 8330 from the 208th Tactical Helicopter Squadron was directed to pick up 5 personnel who were wounded in action from 103rd Infantry Brigade based at Campo Ranaw, Marawi City on their way back to 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion on May 23, 2017 at 5:30 in the afternoon.

Given at least 30 minutes before sunset, the pilots and crew of UH-1H with tail no. 225 (composed of the following personnel: Major Jehnzen M Villamin PAF, 1Lt Andrews D Mendoza PAF, TSg Apolinario M Sumicad PAF, and A2C Diosdado D Moralla PAF) and UH-1D with tail no. 8330 (composed of the following personnel: Cpt Clintone Carlo E Cabili PAF, 1Lt Ariel M Cabalquinto PAF, Sgt Marlon T Quilisadio PAF, and A1C Russel C Tumulak PAF) immediately prepared all necessary equipment and gathered details essential for the mission upon receipt of the information and conducted air mission briefing to ensure its safe conduct to include review of emergency procedures and the mission risk profile before heading to 103rd IB to pick up the wounded soldiers.

Apart from the inclement weather, the mission was more challenging because it was almost sunset en route to the designated pick up site, which significantly decreased the visual capabilities of the pilots and crew. In addition, constant gun fire made it almost impossible for the aircraft to land, but with the incomparable courage coupled with competence and skills of the pilots and crew, the flight safely arrived at the landing zone.

Out of the 5 soldiers who were wounded in action, only 1 was extricated yet the flight was still determined to stay behind until sunset. Unfortunately, the 4 wounded soldiers were still at the hot area where aerial evacuation was not feasible. After several hours, the flight took off to proceed back to the 2MIB for the termination of the mission.

As the offensive continues, the brave men and women of 205th THW will continue to perform its duty for the Filipino people and bring back the peace in Marawi City.

Courtesy of 205th THW