Huwebes, Mayo 14, 2015

U.S plans to surround China controlled Islets in Spratly


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.

CHINESE AIR BASE. Artist’s sketch of a Chinese air base at Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly's Group of Islands claimed by the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam. If unrestrained the Chinese would have an operational air base before year 2015 ends to host its jet fighters and bombers like the Xian H-6K bombers that could threaten with their nuclear powered missiles countries as far as Australia.

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.

He told the guards at the checkpoint of the joint HQs of the Filipinos and Americans to allow me to see the U.S and Philippine air assets that were open to the public the weekend before.

“I’ll call your commander (a general), just allow him to see those planes,” he told the guards.

If the Philippine Air Force is 90% Air and 10% Force, the U.S is 60% Force and 40% Air what with the absence of its F-16 Falcons, F/A-18 Hornets, and Stealth fighter-bombers being displayed on the tarmac there.

I saw there the  U.S giant C-17 Globe Master, AV-8A Harrier Jump Jets, three C-130, Black Hawk helicopters those messengers of death you saw on the flick “Black Hawk Down” and those two stealth choppers used by the Yanks on bringing the SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) Team-6 who killed NO. 1 global terrorist Osama bin Laden at the 3rd floor of the building in  Abbottabad , Pakistan, Chinook, Bell AH-1 Cobra Helicopter, some A-10 Thunderbolt “tank killer” or Whartogs, while the PAF displayed its camouflage Italian made turbo power SF 260 Marchetti training planes, couple of Italian made jets S-211 while inside the PAF hangar I saw two dark green Poland made  W-3A Sokol combat utility helicopter, two four blades S-76 Sikorsky helicopters that were purchased during the last year of the government of ousted Strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

On that day, I saw, too, a platoon of the elite Special Action Force and their American counterparts prepared themselves to enter the C-17 for parachute jump, while American officers and enlisted personnel billet themselves in style at 5-Star Hotels there like Holiday Inn, Stotsenberg, Oxford, to name a few.

I heard that a Filipino restaurant owner billed a P50 order of chicken adobo for P100 or more for American servicemen who relished the delicacy despite of the catered American food at their air-conditioned huge tents cum mess hall.