U.S. turns over 2 Cessna 208B maritime patrol planes to DND

Patrice Gainsbourg
Julho 28, 2017

The two brand-new Cessna-208B Caravan intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft were received by Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana in a ceremony at Villamor Air Base near the Philippines' main worldwide airport.

The transfer of the two Cessna 208B Caravan was made despite President Duterte's continuing criticisms of the United States, the latest of which was on Monday.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año were present at the hand-over.

The US has also flown P3 Orion surveillance aircraft over Marawi while US Special Forces troops based in the southern region of Mindanao have been operating drones, which aimed at helping Philippine forces locate the militants. Two brand new surveillance aircraft, worth $30 million, were turned over to the Philippine Air Force to increase its maritime security.

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Arrival of the C-208B ISR aircraft provides the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) with technologically advanced ISR capability in support of counterterrorism operations.

The 300th Air Intelligence and Security Group of the PAF, based at Edwin Andrews Air Base in Zamboanga, will operate the two new surveillance aircraft.

The embassy said this delivery is the latest donation from the United States government, adding that over the last five years, the USA has allocated more than P15 billion of grant funding to provide the AFP with up-to-date equipment and training. The equipment transfers, training, and continued bilateral exercises demonstrate the commitment of the United States to work with the Philippines in building capabilities towards eradicating global terror networks. The U.S. has also provided reconnaissance aircraft and pilot training, uniforms and body armor, combat rubber raiding crafts, night vision devices, rockets, and unmanned aerial systems.

"The United States, as a steadfast ally of the Philippines, continues to provide support to the AFP through both grant assistance and expedited sales of arms and munitions to support both long-term AFP modernization goals and urgent counterterrorism requirements", the US Embassy said in a press release.

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