The second deployment of the United States Air Contingent to the Philippine has recently completed training alongside the Armed Forces of the Philippines for routine operational missions that enhance regional maritime domain awareness. The said deployment consisted of four electronic warfare aircraft EA-18G Grolwers from US Navy Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 138 expeditionary detachment.
“Following its arrival June 15, 2016, VAQ 138 conducted a 15-day mission with supporting units from across the Department of Defense, providing an opportunity for US service members to reinforce the historically strong relationship with the Filipino people. Subject matter expert (SME) exchanges were held June 27-29 to provide an exchange of tactics and procedures that boost interoperability in future missions,” US Pacific Air Forces said July 8.
“The focus of the SME exchanges was to provide insight for our Filipino partners into how the U.S. military conducts operations at home and downrange,” said US Navy Cmdr. Aaron Tabor, the VAQ 138 commanding officer. “This allows them to see what has worked for us and potentially apply it to their existing military procedures.”
Philippine Air Force-First Air Division commander Major General Raul del Rosario said “doing these exercises and the [prior] coordination is preparing for the implementation of this type of operation, if needed.”
“I hope that we can improve the way our countries do things in the future and be more specific in the shared goals that we hope to achieve together,” del Rosario said.
The VAQ 138 detachment was redeployed to Misawa Air Base in Japan to resume a previously scheduled deployment to the western Pacific.
The first temporary Air Contingent here in April was comprised of five U.S. Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt aircraft, three HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters and approximately 200 personnel deployed from multiple Pacific Air Forces units.