Philippines, SoKor kick off three-day air show

Pia Lee-Brago - The Philippine Star
Philippines, SoKor kick off three-day air show
The Philippine Air Force and Republic of Korea Air Force stage an air show to mark 75 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, at Clark Air Base in Pampanga yesterday.
Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — The three-day air show commemorating the 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the Philippines and South Korea kicked off yesterday with a special friendship flight featuring aircraft flown by Filipino pilots and their South Korean counterparts.

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) and the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) co-hosted this year’s Black Eagles Airshow and Friendship Flight at Clark Air Base in Pampanga.

The special friendship flight featured four FA-50PH aircraft flown by Filipino pilots alongside eight T-50B aircraft flown by South Korean pilots.

The Black Eagles aerobatic team from South Korea amazed the audience with aerial maneuvers, leaving vibrant trails in the sky as a testament to the colorful diplomatic relations between the two nations.

Currently, PAF operates 12 FA-50PH aircraft acquired through a purchase contract signed in 2014 with the Korea Aerospace Industries.

These aircraft were considered a “game changer” because of their contributions during the Marawi Siege in 2017.

The T-50Bs used by the ROKAF aerobatic team are trainer jet versions of that type of aircraft.

Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro said the event showcased not just diplomatic or friendly ties, but a profound sense of kinship between the two countries. 

Maj. Gen. Park Chang-kyu, commander of the Air Defense and Control Command of ROKAF, conveyed his appreciation to the Filipino people for their steadfast trust and friendship for over 70 years.

Teodoro and Park were joined by Korean Ambassador Lee Sang-hwa, acting Armed Forces chief Lt. Gen. Arthur Cordura, PAF commanding general Lt. Gen. Stephen Parreño and PAF vice commander Maj. Gen. Augustine Malinit.

Officers from the Department of National Defense and Armed Forces of the Philippines General Headquarters, foreign armed forces attachés, commanders of major service and unified commands, government officials and guests from the Filipino and Korean communities also witnessed the event.

The airshow, open to the public until March 5, also features an exhibit of different Korean defense companies.

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