2-Mar-2022 Source: Philippine News Agency
The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is looking to have more training opportunities with the United States Army Pacific Command (USARPAC), as it is poised to get more S-70i “Black Hawk” combat utility helicopters.
This is among the matters discussed by PAF commander Lt. Gen. Connor Anthony Canlas and USARPAC chief Gen. Charles Flynn during the latter’s visit to the PAF headquarters at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City February 21.
“Discussed are the possible Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEEs) and trainings on helicopter operations particularly the ‘Black Hawk’ and other SMEEs which will benefit both parties,” PAF spokesperson Lt. Col. Maynard Mariano said in a statement Wednesday.
The PAF presently has 15 operational “Black Hawk” helicopters which were delivered in 2020 and 2021. These were 16 originally but one crashed during a night-flying exercise on June 24, 2021.
The Air Force is expected to get 32 more “Black Hawk” helicopters within the next three years after Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and PZL Mielec president Janusz Zakrecki formally signed the PHP32 billion contract for the acquisition of the additional helicopters on Tuesday.
Aside from the possible training for “Black Hawk” helicopter operations, Flynn and Canlas also discussed other operational matters.
“The two commanders discussed and shared insights on the integration of Ground Based Air Defense Systems into the overall picture of the Integrated Air Defense Concept,” Mariano said.
He added the meeting culminated with the assurance of continued cooperation and partnership between the USARPAC and the PAF.