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Thursday, April 25, 2024

Japanese ‘Huey’ helicopters seen boosting Army’s HADR capability

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The Aviation Regiment of the Philippine Army’s (PA) humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) capability is expected to get a much needed boost with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s (JGSDF) pledge to provide it with a number of UH-IJ utility helicopters.

“The JGSDF pledged to transfer UH-1J utility helicopters to the PA through a government grant. This was announced during a side-bilateral meeting between the two Armies during the first-ever Japan-Philippine-US Trilateral Key Leaders’ Engagement at Camp Asaka, Tokyo, Japan on December 11, 2022,” Army spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said in a news statement issued on Monday.

The donation of these UH-1J helicopters are expected to be received two to three years from now.

The UH-IJ is manufactured by Japan’s Fiji Heavy Industries.

Trinidad said this donation will significantly boost the capabilities of the Army Aviation Regiment in the field of HADR, medical evacuation, transport of personnel and supplies and for damage assessment flights in times of national emergencies and calamities.

In the same meeting, PA chief Lt. Gen. Romeo S. Brawner Jr. discussed with JGSDF Chief-of-Staff, Gen. Yoshida Yoshihide potential areas of military cooperation to include capability development, training and exercises, as well as defense materiel assistance.

The PA chief also expressed hope that this nascent partnership would bring about mutually beneficial outcomes for both the PA and JGSDF.

“As we all know, the Philippines and Japan are within the Pacific Ring of Fire and we experience so many disasters every year. By collaborating, all of our Armies will be able to cooperate on ensuring that our people are safe as we face the various calamities that come to our land every year,” Brawner said.

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