Out of the 1,007 Philippine Air Force personnel deployed in the war-torn Marawi City, 200 airmen will be accorded with Heroes’ Welcome on Monday morning, November 06, 2017, at the PAF Grandstand, Colonel Jesus Villamor Air Base, Pasay City.
To be honored are the men and women from the 5th Fighter Wing, 15th Strike Wing, 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing, 220th Airlift Wing, 710th Special Operations Wing, 355th Aviation Engineer Wing, Tactical Operations Command, 300th Air Intelligence and Security Group, 900th Air Force Weather Group, Air Force General Hospital, Air Judge Advocate, and Mobile Kitchen.
At the onset of the conflict in Marawi City, these airmen answered the call of duty of suppressing adversary forces and at the same time, protecting the communities from the ills of the enemy’s exploits by providing the necessary air and ground support to the military operations conducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The 5th FW and 15th SW deployed pilots, maintenance crew, and support personnel to assist the focused military operations in Mindanao and provided strategic and tactical air support for our ground troops and civilian populace.
The Philippine Forward Air Controller, Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel, K-9 and K-9 Handler of the 710th SPOW have also played a significant role in the battlefield. Rarely recognized for their silent efforts, the PFAC showed what the pilots want to see during the battle, and provided the way for close air support aircraft in delivering bombs and rockets that resulted to maximum casualties to the enemy forces. Ground combat personnel also provided EOD and K-9 operations ensuring the safety of friendly troops and non-combatants.
The Air Mobility Command through the 205th THW and 220th AW provided troop and cargo transport, troop insertion and extrication, combat re-supply, medical evacuation, forward air control missions, and administrative/confidential VIP movements.
The 300th AISG provided the necessary air intelligence products needed by operating ground troops and PAF units in the area. The aerial photography team was able to come up with numerous and valuable aerial photographs utilizing hand-held cameras while onboard the AW-109 helicopter of the 15th SW during CAS missions.
The 355th AEW personnel will lead in the rebuilding efforts in Marawi City along with other engineering units of the AFP.
The newly-installed PAF Commanding General, Lieutenant General Galileo Gerard R Kintanar Jr AFP, will lead the welcome rites for the Marawi heroes.
Lieutenant General Rolando Joselito D Bautista AFP, Commanding General of the Philippine Army; Lieutenant General Carlito G Galvez Jr AFP, Commander of Western Mindanao Command; Major General Danilo G Pamonag AFP, Task Force Trident Commander; and General Eduardo M Año AFP (Ret), former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, will be invited to deliver a short message.
The ceremony will coincide with the flag raising ceremony of the PAF and is intended to honor and acknowledge the airmen’s bravery and selfless dedication to duty.
The Heroes’ Welcome is the very first time that the PAF’s air, ground, and support personnel will be able to meet each other after the war broke out in Marawi City on May 23. Moreover, this will be a symbolic activity for our Ground Commanders for they will finally be able to get to know the gallant pilots, crew, and airmen of the PAF whom they had worked with.