ABOUT 40 members of the US Pacific Air Force under the US Pacific Command (USPACOM) headed by Lieutenant Colonel Alvin Alana arrived in Negros Oriental on Saturday in separate local flights from Metro Manila and through the Philippine Airforce's C130.
Major Ray Tiongson, spokesman of the 3rd ID, said the USPACOM will be here in the region from March 3-11 2013 to conduct a joint and combined Humanitarian Civic Assistance/Civil-Military Operations (HCA/CMO) between the Armed Forces of the Philippines, specifically the 302nd Bde, and PNP through the Negros Oriental Provincial Police.
He said the joint activity dubbed as the Pacific Angels 13-1 is an annual Humanitarian Assistance (HA) program sponsored by the USPACOM and implemented by the US Pacific Air Force (PACAF) in partnership with the AFP.
The objective of this exercise is to enhance the response capability of the AFP and stakeholders during disasters and calamities.
The seven days activity covers HCA/CMO programs such as medical, dental, optometry and school repair and other engineering programs and also lectures on various subject matter expert changes between the AFP-PNP and USPACOM forces that aim to enhance interoperability and preparedness among different forces during calamities and disasters.
The 302nd Infantry Brigade Commander, Col Francisco Patrimonio, said that the unit will support this humanitarian mission primarily in providing security to the contingents, facilitate the transportation of people affected by the previous earthquake to and from their location and assist in the construction and repair of selected school beneficiaries here in the region.
Aside from the USPACOM, AFP and PNP, Pacific Angels 13-1 will be participated by the Provincial Government of Negros Oriental and Non-Government Organizations led by the Oriental Negros Children's Advocacy Network (ONCAN) MGen Jose Z Mabanta Jr, Commander of 3ID, stressed that Negros has suffered from previous calamities and disasters.
"Our ability to mitigate, prepare, respond and recover from the effects brought about by these calamities is necessary to be enhanced. This is an opportunity for all stakeholders to learn and enhance our interoperability during disasters and calamities," he said.
"Bayanihan" - United States Airforce of the US Pacific Command, members of the 302nd Infantry Brigade and Negros PNP unloaded medical, dental and engineering equipment at Dumaguete City Airport.
These equipment will be used for the Pacific Angels from March 3-10, 2013.