Monday, June 27, 2011

Airforce HQ in Negros soon

The Philippine Air Force will soon set up its regional tactical operation group headquarters at the Bacolod-Silay Airport in Negros Occidental.

The PAF in the Western Visayas presently has its Tactical Operation Group-6 headquarters in Iloilo.

The establishment of the Air Force TOG-6 headquarters at the Bacolod-Silay Airport was endorsed by Governor Alfredo MaraƱon Jr., who requested for approval and authority from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to sign the memorandum of agreement by and between the province of Negros Occidental and the PAF.

The TOG-6 headquarters will house PAF air assets, such as helicopter gunship, war and cargo air transport planes. The Air Force headquarters in Region 6 was proposed to be transferred from Iloilo to Negros Occidental during the stint of retired General Victor Ibrado, then commander of the AFP Central Command.

The proposed MOA stipulated that the provincial government will acquire four hectares of land within or near the vicinity of the Bacolod-Silay Airport in Brgy. Bagtic, Silay City, while the PAF will undertake the development of the area, construction and maintenance of structures, and facilities.

The MOA also states that the PAF will give Negros Occidental priority in extending assistance, or preference to the needs of the province in times of emergency, calamity and similar circumstances, when its services may be needed.

The establishment of an Air Force headquarters at the Bacolod-Silay Airport was welcomed by military officials in Negros island, who have to request for air support, either from Cebu or Iloilo in times of emergency crisis and tactical operations against lawless groups.*GPB

Airforce flying Tassie pollies to Canberra

The air force is flying Tasmanian federal politicians to Canberra aboard a special VIP plane after commercial flights were thrown into chaos by an ash cloud from a Chilean volcano.

The RAAF flight was scheduled to leave Hobart at about 3.30pm AEST on Monday afternoon carrying government, opposition and crossbench MPs and senators ahead of the resumption of parliament on Tuesday.

The politicians will fly on one of the RAAF's plush B-737 Boeing Business Jets, or BBJs.

"If additional flights are required, RAAF would consider its available aircraft," a Defence spokesperson said.

"At this stage, no other requests have been received."

It's believed passengers on the Hobart flight will include Greens Senators Bob Brown and Christine Milne, opposition Senate leader Eric Abetz and independent MP Andrew Wilkie.

Earlier, a spokesman for House of Representatives leader Anthony Albanese said the government was watching ash cloud developments closely.

"At this stage we expect parliament to resume tomorrow with the full complement of MPs and Senators," he said.

The air force said it was monitoring the impact of the volcanic ash cloud on its operations.

"At this time, no scheduled VIP flights have been affected," the spokesman said.

"Safety is the most important consideration for air force operations.

"Air forces planning and procedures are more flexible than commercial airlines and can plan alternative flight plans that mitigate the risk."