MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday announced its air and naval assets have transported over one million pounds of essential supplies, equipment and personnel in support of the government’s efforts to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak.
Navy Capt. Jonathan Zata, AFP public affairs office chief, said the Air Force has committed several of its fixed-wing aircraft to transport assorted personnel protective equipment (PPE), medical supplies, and health personnel to various points in the country, while the Navy has eight ships, including three vessels in ongoing missions.
These include the Lockheed C-130 “Hercules” cargo aircraft with tail number 4704 which is now in Xiamen International Airport, China to pick up supplies procured by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz and BRP Davao Del Sur which are now in India to load up three metric tons of PPE sets.
“BRP Ramon Alcaraz and BRP Davao Del Sur were sent to Oman earlier this year purposely to help overseas Filipino workers affected by the conflict in Iran. The vessels left Oman on April 21 and arrived in India on April 29,” Zata said.
Another Navy ship, the BRP Bacolod City, is also en route to Davao City with 11,764 boxes of assorted supplies from China. The cargo was part of the 23,385 boxes of PPE procured by the DBM.
The two C-130s have already done a combined 100 sorties, logged 232 flying hours, and transported over 700,000 pounds of cargo.
Meanwhile, three C-295s have logged a combined 178 sorties and transported over 150,000 pounds of cargo.
Other aircraft that are being used for Covid-19 flight missions are the two N-22 Nomads, two NC-212i light-lift planes, two SF-260, one F-28, and two UH-1 helicopters.
The Navy, on the other hand, has BRP Tausug, BRP Batak, BRP Agta, BRP Manobo, and BRP Subanon ready for future deployment.
“We are thankful for and are proud of all our pilots, sailors, aircraft crew, and maintenance personnel for their tireless work and sacrifice in support of our national Covid-19 efforts,” AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Felimon Santos said.
A total of 27,066 AFP personnel is deployed in various functions to help the government in containing the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Though constantly far from home and their families, they soldier on to accomplish their missions that are vital in sustaining our campaign to end the pandemic and bring our country back to normalcy,” Santos said. (ia/PNA)