By MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
When I saw at the Face Book account of MaxDefense several weeks ago the open house of American aircraft at the former U.S base Clark Airport, I rode shotgun the following day to see up close and personal the ballyhooed American airplanes I romanticized, when I was a boy, reading at military magazines collected by my air force father.
I was told, however, by a Philippine Air Force public information office (PIO) officer a certain Lieutenant Romero that I have to get a clearance first at the General Head Quarter at Camp Aguinaldo before I could start interviewing the Filipino and American forces who participate in the Balikatan 2015 or military exercise after I introduced myself and showed my I.D that I am a member of the Fourth Estate.
As I left the PIO, I bumped into a retired Air Force General who is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1977.
I told him I worked before at the PIO of the PMA and told him PMA alumni members in Pangasinan like Congressman Pol Bataoil and Governor Amado T. Espino.
“I’m from San Jacinto, Pangasinan, too,” he said.
“So you heard about that retired general near your town whose house was raided by the National Bureau of Investigation?” I posed.
He was amused about the information I gave him.
|Author looking at the United States air assets at the former U.S base Clark Airport|
during the Balikatan 2015 U.S- Philippines military exercise held last April.
Aircraft at the background are (from left) A-10 Thunderbolt or Warthog,
Vertical Short Take Off/Landing AV/8B Harrier jump jets, and Bell Boeing V-22
Osprey titlrotor aircraft. Other aircraft not in photo are C-17 Globe Master, Lockheed
C-130 Hercules transport planes,Boeing CH-47 Chinook Helicopters, Sikorsky UH-60
Black Hawk helicopters, and others.