By PERCY A OSTONAL
THE plan to reactivate the mothballed Paranial Air Station on the outskirts of Jose Panganiban has kicked off.
Early this month, Lt Elmer Barcinas of Philippine Air Force formally informed the municipal council of President Noynoy Aquino’s directive to reactivate the Paranial Air Station.
The order was addressed to Lt Col Augusto Vinzons Gaite, PAF Tactical Operations Group – 5 head based in Legaspi City, who has been tasked to oversee the project.
MWBuzz has gathered that the clearing of the old Paranial Air Station will begin anytime now covering about 72 hectares of government land.
The air station, which was established during the late 1950, was adjacent to the defunct San Mauricio Gold Mines, which was taken over by a Filipino-owned gold mine Johson Gold Mining Corp a few years ago.
The air station covers a range of 200 nautical miles.
In a briefing during a municipal council meeting, Barcinas disclosed that the coordination related to the project has been made with the Bureau of Lands field officials and with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Gaite earlier told a local media based in Bicol that the Paranial station is “necessary for our nation’s credible defense against giant neighbor China in relation to the worsening tensions over the disputed waters of Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal”.
Under the Paranial plan, the government will acquire T50s jetfighter to serve as lead trainer to hone dedicated pilot and crews on the basic handling of aircraft for air combat, Gaite said.
He said after the basic training in T50s jet fighter, the PAF pilots will be ready to handle F16 fighter aircraft, which assumes multi-role in airspace defense at any weather condition.
Gaite said the Philippines is going to form two squadrons of F16 jet fighters comprising 24 units, with the first batch of six aircraft is expected by 2014-15.