US Donates 4 Planes to PH Navy

Feb. 16, 2022

Feb. 12—THE United States government turned over four Cessna 172 Skylark planes to the Philippine Naval Air Wing based in Sangley Point, Cavite on Thursday as part of a $5.8 million (P298.1 million) grant under the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program.

The US Embassy in the Philippines said the Cessna planes will be used to train new naval aviators, as well as to maintain the capabilities of current pilots and the technical expertise of aviation mechanics.

US Embassy Chargé d'Affaires ad interim Heather Variava said this project displays the United States' commitment to its Philippine partners to invest in their long-term success.

"Together, the United States and the Philippines will continue to make great strides in the pursuit of a free and open maritime environment," Variava said.

According to the US Embassy, the delivery completed the transfer of the four Cessna planes that arrived and were reassembled on location in December 2021.

It noted that before the aircraft's delivery, the US provided pilot and mechanic training to 24 Philippine service members in Kansas City in August and September 2021.

The shipment of spare parts and an integral logistics support package is also part of the US government's entire package which will be concluded with the delivery of three US-sourced Robinson R44 helicopters in late 2022.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the air assets will significantly improve the navy's ability to prepare naval pilots for the crucial task of monitoring and safeguarding our maritime territories and domain.

"Beyond this endeavor, I thank you for steadfastly holding the other end of our enduring partnership, that is helping us modernize our armed forces. Your ardent support to the AFP modernization program is very much appreciated and valued not just by the defense and security sector but the entire Filipino nation as well on our end, rest assured that we are committed more than ever to the alliance," Lorenzana said in his speech.

"As we rejoice over this milestone, we also recognize the productive and enduring relationship between the United States and the Philippines, which is the key to the success of this acquisition program."

Lorenzana said the Philippines acknowledges its shared commitment to help preserve the peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

The US Embassy also noted that in the past two years, the US government has provided $110 million (P5.65 billion) in grant assistance through FMF, specifically to support the Philippines' sovereignty and modernization efforts.



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