Press Release
September 3, 2020

Tolentino bats for Army Aviation Regiment's involvement in
rescue, relief ops

Senator Francis "Tol" Tolentino declared that he envisions the Army Aviation Regiment at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija to become an integral part in rescue and relief operations during disasters.

Tolentino made this manifestation during the confirmation hearing of AFP chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay before the Commission on Appointments on Wednesday.

"Pangarap ko rin naman dumating iyong pagkakataon na kapag nagkaroon tayo ng disasters, iyong mga air assets ng Coast Guards, Air Force, Navy and the Philippine National Police (PNP) will be joined by the Army Aviation Regiment in distributing relief items to our distressed countrymen," said Tolentino.

Gapay said the development of the Army Aviation Regiment into a force of the Philippine Army that can be deployed anywhere and with an aviation unit backing it is now in full swing.

"As the battlefield becomes more complicated and intricate, the more that we need capabilities such as an aviation unit for the Philippine Army," said Gapay

According to Gapay, there is an ongoing training for rotary wing pilots in preparation for the delivery of the modern equipment coming from the AFP modernization.

Also, Tolentino said the AFP is set to receive from the United States 4 Black Hawk helicopters and 4 Cobra helicopters that will help augment the Army Aviation Regiment's air defense capability.

Tolentino also urged Gapay to pursue during his term as AFP chief the establishment of airstrips for the Army Aviation Regiment in Kalayaan Island and near Fuga Island.

"The AFP is identifying airstrips all over the country where we could put detachments not only for the Army but for the Philippine Air Force as well," said Gapay.

"Usually, when it comes to airstrips there will be dual use some would be civilian and military use but there are also a few dedicated for military use only just like the one in Lumbia where it used to be a civilian-military use, now its purely military administered by the Air Force," he added.

Meanwhile, Tolentino expressed support for the confirmation of Gapay as AFP chief along with other 29 officers.

"I congratulate you in advance. I repeat again this will not be a piece of cake," said Tolentino.

News Latest News Feed