CLARK AIR BASE, Pampangas, Phillippines --
On August 16, 2017 airmen from Pacific Air Forces reunited with their counterparts from the Philippine Air Force (PAF) at Clark Air Base, Pampanga, Philippines as part of an ongoing series of air contingent exchanges between military professionals.
This marks the fifth iteration of the exchange, which empowers Filipino and American Airmen to share years of technical and operational expertise with their counterparts from related career fields.
Face-to-face workshops are held at various military installations throughout the Philippines through August 25 in order to improve the effectiveness and interoperability between the allied nations.
Philippine Air Force Brigadier General Antonio Ramon A Lim, 5th Fighter Wing commander, observed some of the working groups during the exchange and stressed the significance of training together.
“All this knowledge that we are gaining through this experience will surely help a lot in establishing our fighter and air-defense-operations,” Lim said. “These are all confidence-building measures and it shows us that we should continue to enhance our bilateral relationship.”
With constant advances in military technology and procedures, the quarterly exchanges serve as an opportunity for both services to develop standardized sets of training and practices across their shared capabilities. Members focused on guided missile and munitions operations, command and control tactics, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief response.
Other topics include explosive ordnance handling, flight line operations, mishap response and prevention, and more.
The event’s open forum design promotes a free dialogue among leaders and technicians alike, encouraging participants to identify specific operational functions that can benefit from their combined attention.
“We welcome the opportunity to strengthen our cooperation and interoperability with our Philippine counterparts,” said U.S. Air Force Col. James Shigekane, 13th Expeditionary Air Squadron commander. “These exchanges allow us to share best practices and joint capabilities that help us bolster our regional security interests and goals.”
Members of the U.S. and Philippine armed forces have maintained a long-standing partnership which plays a major role in providing security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
To sustain their common duty of maintaining peace in the Pacific, the two allies also collaborate in large-scale exercises such as Balikatan and Pacific Angel annually, as well as Airman-to-Airman talks.
As the first day concluded, Lim expressed his gratitude for the bilateral program and continuation of the bilateral air force-to-air force relationship.
“Thank you very much for providing all these lectures and contributions,” he said. “It’s clear that we can always rely on each other, regardless of the situation, and we are looking forward to more subject-matter-expert exchanges in the future.”