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PACAF A-10s, HH-60s fly first Air Contingent missions in Philippines

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Daniel Mobili, a dedicated crew chief with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, salutes the pilot an A-10C Thunderbolt II after marshalling the aircraft for take off at Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. Maintenance Airmen play a critical role in the newly stood up Air Contingent’s ongoing operations ranging from air and maritime domain awareness, personnel recovery, combating piracy, and assurance all nations have access to the regional air and maritime domains in accordance with international law. Mobili is a Miami, Florida, native. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Daniel Mobili, a dedicated crew chief with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, salutes the pilot an A-10C Thunderbolt II after marshalling the aircraft for take off at Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. Maintenance Airmen play a critical role in the newly stood up Air Contingent’s ongoing operations ranging from air and maritime domain awareness, personnel recovery, combating piracy, and assurance all nations have access to the regional air and maritime domains in accordance with international law. Mobili is a Miami, Florida, native. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

Two U.S. Air Force maintenance Airmen, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, take a break after successfully launching two A-10C Thunderbolt IIs at Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. Maintenance Airmen play a critical role in the newly stood up Air Contingent’s ongoing operations ranging from air and maritime domain awareness, personnel recovery, combating piracy, and assurance all nations have access to the regional air and maritime domains in accordance with international law. The A-10C is capable of loitering close to the surface for extended periods to allow for excellent visibility over land and sea domains and can be serviced and operated from austere bases with limited facilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

Two U.S. Air Force maintenance Airmen, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, take a break after successfully launching two A-10C Thunderbolt IIs at Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. Maintenance Airmen play a critical role in the newly stood up Air Contingent’s ongoing operations ranging from air and maritime domain awareness, personnel recovery, combating piracy, and assurance all nations have access to the regional air and maritime domains in accordance with international law. The A-10C is capable of loitering close to the surface for extended periods to allow for excellent visibility over land and sea domains and can be serviced and operated from austere bases with limited facilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

A U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, is prepped for a mission out of Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. The A-10C is here as part of a newly stood up Air Contingent conducting operations ranging from air and maritime domain awareness, personnel recovery, combating piracy, and assurance all nations have access to the regional air and maritime domains in accordance with international law. The A-10 is capable of loitering close to the surface for extended periods to allow for excellent visibility over land and sea domains. Through these missions, U.S. Pacific Command and the Philippine military seek to provide transparent maritime situational awareness while ensuring safety of military and civilian operations in international waters and airspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

A U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, is prepped for a mission out of Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. The A-10C is here as part of a newly stood up Air Contingent conducting operations ranging from air and maritime domain awareness, personnel recovery, combating piracy, and assurance all nations have access to the regional air and maritime domains in accordance with international law. The A-10 is capable of loitering close to the surface for extended periods to allow for excellent visibility over land and sea domains. Through these missions, U.S. Pacific Command and the Philippine military seek to provide transparent maritime situational awareness while ensuring safety of military and civilian operations in international waters and airspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

Four U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt IIs, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, return to Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016, after flying their first operational mission through international airspace in the vicinity of Scarborough Shoal west of the Philippines providing air and maritime situational awareness. These missions promote transparency and safety of movement in international waters and airspace, showcasing the U.S. commitment to ally and partner nations and to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region’s continued stability now and for generations to come. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

Four U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt IIs, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, return to Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016, after flying their first operational mission through international airspace in the vicinity of Scarborough Shoal west of the Philippines providing air and maritime situational awareness. These missions promote transparency and safety of movement in international waters and airspace, showcasing the U.S. commitment to ally and partner nations and to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region’s continued stability now and for generations to come. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

Two U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, with the 33rd Rescue Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, return to Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016, after flying their first operational mission in the region. These missions provide an opportunity to strengthen cooperation and interoperability with our Philippine counterparts and bolster regional security interests and goals. The HH-60Gs are joined by five A-10C Thunderbolt IIs, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, and 200 Pacific Air Forces personnel as part of a newly stood up Air Contingent here conducting operations ranging from air and maritime domain awareness, personnel recovery, combating piracy, and assurance all nations have access to the regional air and maritime domains in accordance with international law. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

Two U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, with the 33rd Rescue Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, return to Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016, after flying their first operational mission in the region. These missions provide an opportunity to strengthen cooperation and interoperability with our Philippine counterparts and bolster regional security interests and goals. The HH-60Gs are joined by five A-10C Thunderbolt IIs, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, and 200 Pacific Air Forces personnel as part of a newly stood up Air Contingent here conducting operations ranging from air and maritime domain awareness, personnel recovery, combating piracy, and assurance all nations have access to the regional air and maritime domains in accordance with international law. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

A U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, touches down at Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016, after returning from its first operational mission through international airspace providing air and maritime situational awareness. The A-10C’s mission enhances U.S. military assets in the region upholding freedom of navigation and over flight. The five A-10Cs are joined with three HH-60G Pave Hawks and approximately 200 personnel deployed from multiple Pacific Air Forces units to make up the first iteration of the U.S. Pacific Command Air Contingent at Clark Air Base, Philippines. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

A U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, touches down at Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016, after returning from its first operational mission through international airspace providing air and maritime situational awareness. The A-10C’s mission enhances U.S. military assets in the region upholding freedom of navigation and over flight. The five A-10Cs are joined with three HH-60G Pave Hawks and approximately 200 personnel deployed from multiple Pacific Air Forces units to make up the first iteration of the U.S. Pacific Command Air Contingent at Clark Air Base, Philippines. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

A U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter, with the 33rd Rescue Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, flies overhead after taking off from Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. Two HH-60Gs and four A-10C Thunderbolt IIs, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, took off today marking the first mission in a several week long deployment. These missions promote transparency and safety of movement in international waters and airspace, showcasing the U.S. commitment to ally and partner nations and to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region’s continued stability now and for generations to come. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

A U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter, with the 33rd Rescue Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, flies overhead after taking off from Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. Two HH-60Gs and four A-10C Thunderbolt IIs, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, took off today marking the first mission in a several week long deployment. These missions promote transparency and safety of movement in international waters and airspace, showcasing the U.S. commitment to ally and partner nations and to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region’s continued stability now and for generations to come. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

Four U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt IIs, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, fly overhead after returning from their first mission out of Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. The A-10Cs are part of the newly stood up Air Contingent here conducting operations ranging from air and maritime domain awareness, personnel recovery, combating piracy, and assurance all nations have access to the regional air and maritime domains in accordance with international law. The A-10 missions enhance the U.S. military assets in the region upholding freedom of navigation and over flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

Four U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt IIs, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, fly overhead after returning from their first mission out of Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. The A-10Cs are part of the newly stood up Air Contingent here conducting operations ranging from air and maritime domain awareness, personnel recovery, combating piracy, and assurance all nations have access to the regional air and maritime domains in accordance with international law. The A-10 missions enhance the U.S. military assets in the region upholding freedom of navigation and over flight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

A U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter, with the 33rd Rescue Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, flies overhead after taking off from Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. Two HH-60Gs and four A-10C Thunderbolt IIs, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, took off today marking the first mission in a several week long deployment. These missions promote transparency and safety of movement in international waters and airspace, showcasing the U.S. commitment to ally and partner nations and to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region’s continued stability now and for generations to come. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

A U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter, with the 33rd Rescue Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, flies overhead after taking off from Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. Two HH-60Gs and four A-10C Thunderbolt IIs, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, took off today marking the first mission in a several week long deployment. These missions promote transparency and safety of movement in international waters and airspace, showcasing the U.S. commitment to ally and partner nations and to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region’s continued stability now and for generations to come. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

A Philippine Air Force PZL W-3 Sokół search and rescue helicopter flies over as two U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, with the 33rd Rescue Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, prepare for lift off at Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. At Clark AB, the two country’s air and ground forces maintain a close bilateral bond through annual military exercises. The HH-60Gs are part of the first Air Contingent stood up here by U.S. Pacific Command in order to promote interoperability with the Philippine Air Force, build upon our already strong relationship, and reaffirm our commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)
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A Philippine Air Force PZL W-3 Sokół search and rescue helicopter flies over as two U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, with the 33rd Rescue Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, prepare for lift off at Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. At Clark AB, the two country’s air and ground forces maintain a close bilateral bond through annual military exercises. The HH-60Gs are part of the first Air Contingent stood up here by U.S. Pacific Command in order to promote interoperability with the Philippine Air Force, build upon our already strong relationship, and reaffirm our commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

A U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter, with the 33rd Rescue Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, takes off from Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. The HH-60Gs flew in support of a newly stood up U.S. Pacific Command Air Contingent in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The Air Contingent will promote interoperability and provide greater and more transparent air and maritime situational awareness to ensure safety for military and civilian activities in international waters and airspace. This first deployment is conducting operations from Clark Air Base and consists of five A-10C Thunderbolt IIs, three HH-60G Pave Hawks and approximately 200 personnel deployed from multiple Pacific Air Forces units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)
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A U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter, with the 33rd Rescue Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, takes off from Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. The HH-60Gs flew in support of a newly stood up U.S. Pacific Command Air Contingent in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The Air Contingent will promote interoperability and provide greater and more transparent air and maritime situational awareness to ensure safety for military and civilian activities in international waters and airspace. This first deployment is conducting operations from Clark Air Base and consists of five A-10C Thunderbolt IIs, three HH-60G Pave Hawks and approximately 200 personnel deployed from multiple Pacific Air Forces units. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

A U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, takes off from Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. The A-10Cs are part of the newly stood up Air Contingent here conducting operations ranging from air and maritime domain awareness, personnel recovery, combating piracy, and assurance all nations have access to the regional air and maritime domains in accordance with international law. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)
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A U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, takes off from Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. The A-10Cs are part of the newly stood up Air Contingent here conducting operations ranging from air and maritime domain awareness, personnel recovery, combating piracy, and assurance all nations have access to the regional air and maritime domains in accordance with international law. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

A U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, takes off from Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. The A-10Cs flew as part of a newly stood up Air Contingent in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The air contingent will promote interoperability and provide greater and more transparent air and maritime situational awareness to ensure safety for military and civilian activities in international waters and airspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)
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A U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II, with the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, takes off from Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, 2016. The A-10Cs flew as part of a newly stood up Air Contingent in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The air contingent will promote interoperability and provide greater and more transparent air and maritime situational awareness to ensure safety for military and civilian activities in international waters and airspace. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

CLARK AIR BASE, Philippines --

U.S. Pacific Command’s Air Contingent began flying operations at Clark Air Base, Philippines, April 19, with the successful launch of four A-10C Thunderbolt IIs and two HH-60G Pave Hawks.

The aircraft are part of the newly stood up Air Contingent here conducting operations ranging from air and maritime domain awareness, personnel recovery, combating piracy, and assuring all nations have access to air and sea domains throughout the region in accordance with international law.

The A-10s conducted a flying mission through international airspace in the vicinity of Scarborough Shoal west of the Philippines providing air and maritime situational awareness. These missions promote transparency and safety of movement in international waters and airspace, representing the U.S. commitment to ally and partner nations and to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region’s continued stability now and for generations to come.

“Our job is to ensure air and sea domains remain open in accordance with international law. That is extremely important, international economics depends on it – free trade depends on our ability to move goods,” said Col. Larry Card, Commander of the Air Contingent. “There’s no nation right now whose economy does not depend on the well-being of the economy of other nations.”

The A-10 missions enhance the U.S. military assets in the region upholding freedom of navigation and over flight.

“We are out here and we’re going to do the best we can to achieve the mission; there is no doubt in my mind we will be successful,” Card said.

That success is achieved in part by the close partnership held between the U.S. and Philippine militaries. The two countries’ air and ground forces maintain a close bilateral bond through consistent military exercises

“Interoperability with the Philippine military is at the forefront of our mission,” Card said. “The standup of the Air Contingent promotes this collective focus as we build upon our already strong alliance, and reaffirm our commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”

Card said it takes more than just aircraft to accomplish this feat, however, as he explained the critical role his Airmen play in this mission’s overall success.

“Our Airmen are the top. I’ve worked with the majority of these guys for the last month already and they’ve excelled; they’ve blown me away with their ability to generate air power and I expect nothing less as we move into this next phase.”

All personnel in this first deployment are Air Force Airmen assigned to various Pacific Air Forces bases, and include aircrew, maintainers, logistics and support personnel.

“I have a lot of pride in our Airmen; and their ability to quickly understand a mission they’re not accustomed to and within minutes be motivated and execute that mission is truly phenomenal,” the colonel said. These Airmen truly are the best of the best.”

U.S. Pacific Command plans this first iteration of the Air Contingent mission to last for the next several weeks. Future Air Contingent deployments will be fulfilled with various platforms and personnel from either Air Force or other service components.