The Department of National Defense (DND) and the Philippine Air Force (PAF) in collaboration with the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), conducted a ground breaking ceremony for the construction of billeting facilities for the PAF’s 15th Strike Wing (SW) on February 1, 2017 at Lumbia Airport in Cagayan De Oro City (CDO).
The transfer of 15th SW to Cagayan de Oro is expected to further spur the security and economic progress in Mindanao.
Moreover, this is a realization of the PAF’s desire to modernize and move a step closer to the vision of “a professional and competent Air Force responsive to national security and development.”
Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, who spoke today at the groundbreaking ceremony, said that 15th SW’s transfer in CDO will help the PAF’s goal to boost the country’s territorial defense and internal security operations.
“The completion of this project will certainly pave the way for the achievement of the 15th SW’s goal in the PAF’s transformation roadmap, the Flight Plan 2028, and attain the vision of sustaining day and night tactical and air defense operations in support of territorial and internal security operations,” he said.
As the primary unit of the PAF responsible for providing tactical air operation in support to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) forces, 15th SW houses different aircraft such as the OV-10 Bronco, SF 260, MG-520, and AW109 attack helicopters.
Additionally, the wing’s transfer is also in line with the government’s efforts to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). It was based on the memorandum of agreement signed by the DOTC and CAAP with the DND and PAF.
Under the agreement, the PAF will vacate its base in Cavite to give way to CAAP for its plans to transfer there all privately-owned planes, as well as, chartered units.
CAAP will also be responsible of shouldering the expenses for the transfer of PAF to Lumbia Airport, including the construction expenses of all needed structures.
This significant event marked the official transfer of 15th SW to its new home in Lumbia, CDO. (PAF)