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Philippine Air Force and the US Air Force Military Exercise
« on: January 28, 2010, 10:24:55 AM »
Both the Philippine Air Force and the US Air Force are now preparing for the holding of Pacific Angel bilateral military exercise in Ilocos Norte, the military reported on Wednesday.

Pacific Angel, according to Col. Ernesto Fonbuena Jr., Pacific Angel’s mission commander, will focus on engineering, medical, dental, optometry and veterinary activities for a week starting February 15 in various sites in Ilocos Norte. A disaster planning component will be integrated into the activity, he said.

The exercise, part of the bilateral military exercise agreement between the Philippines and the US, will also be participated in by the Philippine National Police, the Philippine National Red Cross, Laoag medical and community health professionals as well as local disaster management officials.

Medicines, billeting and transportation will be purchased locally using US funds, he said, adding that such is a welcome gesture considering that the communities affected are still in the stage or recovering from the effects of Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

The US Air Force unit based in Hawaii and Guam will be representing the US while the Philippine Air Force will be the main contingent assigned by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Fonbuena further revealed that two elementary schools will benefit from the exercise’s engineering component, adding that each will undergo replacement of building roofs, installation of ceilings, electrical, window, door, plumbing and structural repairs.

He said that this joint humanitarian activity will start appropriately on Valentine’s Day, February 14, and will end on February 21 when the structures will be turned over to local authorities.

The medical teams, he added, will conduct free medical, dental and optometric clinics in four sites also starting on Valentine’s Day. Two mobile teams composed of Filipino and US veterinarians will also visit 41 barangays in Laoag to vaccinate and deworm the goats and cattles of farmer residents.

Pacific Angel, Fonbuena added, is not related to Balikatan. However, he said, it provides the same type of interoperability training and community support to various activity areas in Ilocos Norte.

On top of providing support to the local government units, Fonbuena said that Pacific Angel will provide an opportunity for various sectors involved to increase their interoperability capabilities specially in responding to basic humanitarian requirements of the communities. (PNA)

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