You are on page 1of 29


Vol 2, No 2

Flying in the Changing Times

Lt Col Jose Tony E Villarete PAF

The Philippine Air Force is 54 years old. A

wealth of experience and lessons learned for the
past 54 years of dedicated and exemplary service to
the country and its people provide the PAF with
valuable inputs in the formulation and development
of doctrines. The preponderance of success stories
in the application of air power in various conflicts all
over the world further strengthens the foundation for
the formulation of air doctrines. Voluminous articles,
theories, discussion papers and the like are
continuously written by various air power advocates
which always provide the necessary lights on our
path towards doctrines development. However, the
fast changing situation in the domestic and
international scenes, require us to be more watchful
and analytical in our effort to keep our air doctrines
dynamic and relevant to the times.

The ongoing peace process with the Southern Philippines Secessionist Groups and
the Communist Party of the Philippines and the call by the new administration for active
participation of the AFP in solving organized crimes, notwithstanding the considerable
number of military operations other than war where the AFP has been actively engage, are
to be carefully taken into consideration in the review of existing doctrines and in
formulating new ones. The PAF has been in the forefront of humanitarian assistance and
disaster relief operations and to some extent in developmental efforts such as the
conceptualization of the "Air Force City" in Clarkfield, Pampanga as the hub of the
aerospace and air transport industry in the country. The development of PAF bases all
over the archipelago is premised on the need to improve our military capabilities and at
the same time spearhead the upgrading of the much needed aviation engineering support
facilities of the country which became imperative in the implementation of the AFP
modernization program. The PAF should be able to deal with these domestic changes, vis-
à-vis the emerging new national policies.

World events will continue to influence changes in the geopolitical landscape of the
Asia Pacific region. The new US administration under President Bush has recently
manifested some significant shifts in US foreign policy in the region. The fast changing
relationship of the US with Mainland China, Japan and Korea would have far-reaching
implications to the region as well as to this country. Needless to say, these developments
would affect the Philippines and thus, the need to continuously monitor emerging trends
as it relate to doctrine development. As we enter into a new international relations era, the
PAF must correspondingly review and develop doctrines and strategies to cope with the
changing times.

In doing so, we must remain open to the vast oceans of new concepts and ideas
that abound in the air power arena today. Technology is a key and critical element to the
evolution of air power and should equally be considered along with our past experiences
and air power theories in our trek towards the formulation and revision of doctrines.
In our quest for a Faster, Stronger and Better Philippine Air Force, every airman
should endeavor to keep pace with the emerging situations both in the country and in the
world. Keeping a vigilant watchful eye over the unfolding events will help us in our efforts
of developing dynamic and relevant PAF doctrines. As we fly into new horizons, we must
not let our mindsets shackle us in chains to the present. Together, let us exploit new
concepts and move towards the future --- the skies.
The Essence of the Air Force Anniversary
For over half a century the Philippine Air Force (PAF) has been celebrating its
foundation anniversary without fail. Every year, the PAF sought a theme to herald the year
past and the year to come. The selected PAF anniversary theme contains hollowed words
that were crafted to encapsulate the achievements of the Air Force and at the same time
announce it dreams and plans. More often, these themes approximate prophetic visions
the man at the helm. This year, the PAF has chosen for itself the theme, "Your First Force;
Rising to every Challenge, Whenever, Wherever." The theme fittingly embodies PAF's
accomplishments for the year as the result of its sustained focus on airpower.


Several of the world's great Air Force, gained their independence from surface
forces in order to move effectively and carry out so-called independent missions-the most
being strategic attack. The PAF became an independent service of the Armed Forces of
the Philippines (AFP) due in part to the influence of the US forces. While it is true that the
growth of the Philippine military aviation was initially under the aegis of the US forces, the
PAF air power doctrine grew to an array of operational requirement unique in the

After World War II, the PAF was organized as an "Air Defense Air Force" whose
mission is to conduct prompt and sustained air defense mission in the defense of the
Philippines. Several years after, the PAF had to restructure and redirect its mission so that
it can conduct tactical air operations to neutralize internal threats and limited air defense
operations to detect, identify, and neutralize external threats whenever possible.

Currently the Air Force rediscovers itself by revisiting the doctrine of the air power.
The speed, reach, ubiquity, flexibility, maneuverability, perspective, concentration, and
responsiveness are strength of the air power characteristic of a true Air Force. With speed
and reach, the PAF becomes the first force of the government in conflict or national
development tasks. Collectively, the product of the strengths of air power makes the PAF


Air power has limitations and weaknesses despite its vaunted strengths. The PAF,
however, need to connect the concept of air power to stark realities in order to harness its
strength. The following are several requirements of the Air Force to make air power useful
and a reality.

The first requirement is the availability of weapons platform-Multi Role Fighters,

Long Range Patrol Aircraft, etc. Although the current fleet performs some air power role,
the weapons platform stipulated in the modernization program would magnify the current
strength of the PAF.

The second requirement is to connect the concept of the air power to

organizational development. The force structure of the AFP as well as the PAF must
conform to the requirement of air power. Intelligence is the key of air power application.
Air Power Historian Phillip Meilinger claimed "In essence, Air Power is targeting
intelligence, and intelligence is analyzing the effects of air operations." Right now, there is
no Air Surveillance and Reconnaissance Command that may give out accurate intelligence
report. Additionally, the offensive units of the PAF are often tide up to the ground
Commanders thus strike platforms full potentials are not attained.

The other requirement is the ability to acquire reliable Bomb Damage Assessment
(BDA). The PAF need to accurately assess the results of the air operations. This dilemma
has been ongoing between the Air Force and the surface forces. A mutual arrangement to
resolve such dilemma will redound to the effectiveness of the over-all military operations.

Enhanced air operations is the PAF's raison d'etre as the air arm of the AFP, the
PAF should never lost sight that air power doctrine is its essence. Even as the Air Force
commits life and honor as the country's first line of defense- first force, it will never
abdicate its responsibility to the Filipino people, as their protective carrier and relief
bearer as well.
By Lt Col Francisco N Cruz, Jr. PAF

This author believes that locating the enemy’s centers of gravity should be the first
agenda of the strategist. Attacking the wrong centers of gravity could lead to enormous
costs, human and material. The following research material attempts to give war planners
and strategists adequate doctrinal knowledge on selecting the enemy’s centers of gravity
that could be applicable to both conventional or insurgency wars, specifically to the AFP
campaign against the MILF and the local communist movement. Today, the concept of
center of gravity is discussed only in the classroom, never in the war room.


In the realm of physical science, center of gravity (CG) is merely the balancing point
of an object. The CG of a 12” ruler, for instance is 6 inches. If the ruler is made of the same
material and has the same weight inch-by-inch, it will balance when supported or pivoted
at its 6” mark.[1]

In similar vein, aircraft engineers describe the “CG point as the balancing point of the
entire length of the airplane, from nose to tail.” The importance of the CG location cannot
be overstressed. If not located in its proper place, it will cause a litany of aerodynamic
problems. Located incorrectly, it can cause the plane to fly very poorly or not at all. If the
airplane’s CG is too far behind where it should be, a tail hanging (tail heavy), almost
uncontrollable flight will result. A forward CG can make an aerobatic airplane so stable
that aerobatics are almost impossible, except for easier ones such as a loop or a roll. [2]

It was Carl von Clausewitz who first wrote in a military

context the concept of center of gravity, in his classic book
“On War.” He taught that, “one must keep the dominant
characteristics of both the belligerents in mind and that out of
these characteristics a certain center of gravity develops, the
hub of all power and movement, on which everything depends.
That is the point against which all our energies should be
directed…” For Clausewitz, the enemy’s capital, the seat of
power and government and the center of communications and
administration, was the CG at strategic level. But at the
operational level the single most important CG is the enemy’s
In his published work,” A Study of Clausewitz’s Concept
of the Military Center of Gravity, Col John Osgood,a US Army
retired officer, emphasized Clausewitz's[3] premise
that the first task in planning for war is to identify the enemy’s CG, and if possible trace
them back to a single one. Any attack against a target that does not further the stated
objective of destroying the enemy center of gravity, is therefore a waste of time and
resource. The US failure to confront the real threat in Vietnam is his example. He
suggested that the US National Command Authority through the Joint Chief of Staff
should identify a conceptual strategic CG that can be articulated as part of a statement of
grand and military strategy to support and guide the efforts of the commander within the
theater and area of operations.[4]

Many war strategists after Clausewitz had their own version. Gen Guilio Douhet, the
father of strategic air power chose popular will as the CG based on the theory that the
people would eventually rise up and demand their government to make peace. For Billy
Mitchell, the target of first importance is the enemy’s army.


John Warden’s model provides a logical

foundation for planning offensive operations.
Better known as command and control model, it
suggests that any nation can be seen as a
system having five components, which can be
represented as concentric rings—command,
essential production, transportation networks,
population, and military forces. Each is part of
the CG and each represents both strengths and
weaknesses. Although rings may be at different
levels of development, air power allows one to
strike any of them without necessarily hitting
enemy armed forces (though defeat of a
nation’s armed forces may make all of the other
rings vulnerable).[5] The model is actually a
specialized targeting plan.

In this five-ring model, leadership, or command and control is always the principal
center of gravity: the enemy structure is the most critical element, because leaders are the
only individuals in a country who can make concessions. Air power must attack the CG
directly or if the center is not vulnerable, to strike critical targets on the periphery. The
ultimate goal is to cause some form of strategic paralysis or disruption of the will to
fight.[6] It is imperative that all actions should be aimed against the mind of the enemy

Warden elaborated that the essence of war is to apply pressure against the enemy’s
innermost strategic ring -its command.


The Gulf War demonstrates the efficacy

of Warden’s model. From the moment the first
strike was launched, Saddam and his forces
would be rendered deaf, dumb and blind. The
battle plan was the destruction of Iraqi
communication and observation in order to
decapitate the Iraqi high command and gain
swift ascendancy over Iraqi skies. Iraqi radar
sites, command stations, electrical plants and
military command posts were to be
destroyed, principally with the might and
accuracy of F-111s and F-117s. The Allied
forces conceived of Pooh Bah’s Party
Operations that called for creating blackouts in
Iraq. It deploys Kit2 Tomahawk missiles
containing bits of glasses and metals which
when exploded would short-out
But prior to the air war, the US
National Security Agency (NSA) and the
British General Communications
Headquarters (GCHQ) planned a joint
project that would surreptitiously employ
bugs and viruses into the enemy computer
systems or command and control networks.
Their clandestine agents were indeed
successful in inserting some hardware into
a cargo of computer equipment destined for
the Iraqi military, but before the virus would
knock off network off line, the air war
began.[8] The first salvo of bombings
rendered the Iraqi air force incapable of
putting up a “token fight” and destroyed the
much-feared Republican Guards’ spirit.


Lt Cmdr Jeffrey A Harley, US Navy, in his 1997 thesis entitled “Information,

Technology and Center of Gravity,” claimed that CG is the main source of power or
strength, which, if destroyed, causes such a debilitating effect as to terminate the war. He
enumerated four characteristics of CG, which are relevant to the AFP in its strategy

a. CG remains the enemy’s principal strength. “To weaken a CG is to imperil the

enemy’s ability to continue the conflict; to destroy the CG is to produce a
cascading failure that leads to capitulation.”
b. Each enemy has only one of them, at least at each level of war. In a traditional
democratic system, for example, one might expect the will of the people or the
cohesion of a coalition to serve as the strategic CG, while operational and tactical
centers would most likely be the military forces or supporting infrastructure. CG
can change as an operation unfolds or as the corresponding strengths and
capabilities of the two sides alter.
c. What is the most important one for a given level of war normally depends on the
nature of the war itself. A war of attrition or prolonged duration (e.g. Vietnam)
tends to de-emphasize tactical or operational achievements, while other types tend
to downplay strategic CG (since in them the strategic goal may be attainable by
operational success).
d. It is limited or defined by strategy. The level of technology, degree of doctrinal
adaptation, and the nature of societal values—such as acceptance of casualties
versus risk aversion, or more democratic norms versus totalitarian principles—
influence the focus of CG.[9]

According to William W Mendel and Lamar Tooke, a strategist should take

painstaking effort in selecting the enemy’s potential center of gravity. “Know your enemy
and yourself,” as Sun Tzu taught us. The selection process should pass the dual test of
validity and feasibility. In the case of validity, the potential CG should be tested against the
criterion of whether imposing one’s will over it creates a deteriorating effect that prevents
our foe from achieving his aims, and allows the achievement of our aims. As for
feasibility, one must see whether he has the capability to dominate the enemy’s CG.[10]

Mendel and Tooke’s argued that an assessment between forces is required as a

starting point for a campaign or operational plan. It will suggest a decision as to whether
one’s strength or capabilities permit attacking the enemy CG directly, at the outset. If not
an indirect path to the CG through critical vulnerabilities can be followed. Once it has been
determined whether to attack the CG or critical vulnerabilities, target lists can be
developed. Since the relative strengths and weaknesses of both forces change over the
course of conflict, the model calls for reassessments, which restarts the cycle.[11] These
assessment and reassessment invariably require the expertise of intelligence analysts.


The Rail Interdiction Program, better known as Operation Strangle, conducted by Far
East Forces (FEAF) during the Korean War, was perhaps the most fitting textbook example
of an inappropriate targeting or locating enemy CG. This operation was a dismal failure
because it didn’t meet the validity-feasibility criteria. Its goal was to paralyze the
Communist transportation system between the 39th parallel and the front lines. The term
strangle indicated that air interdiction would “strangle” the enemy by choking off his
supplies and preventing him from maintaining an army in the field.[12]

The Program was useless as a result of lack of careful analysis and re-analysis, wrote
Lt Col Michael Kirtland, USAF in his research, Planning Air Operations: Lessons from
Operation Strangle in Korean War. He cited several reasons. Firstly, the enemy was able to
overcome the difficulties created by the interdiction effort and FEAF proved slow to react
to enemy tactical changes. The first enemy reaction was to increase the air defense
pressure on FEAF Bomber Command attacks on the bridge system. The slow moving B-
29s were extremely vulnerable to MiG activity.

Secondly, the enemy proved capable in deception techniques, creating the

impression of destroyed bridges and rail lines when in fact they were in good working
condition. Bypass bridges were rapidly constructed. Thirdly, the enemy was willing to
commit a vast amount of human resources to the effort of keeping rail lines open.
Manpower was an unlimited resource that was used as human transportation. For
example, 100 men would carry mortar shells on their backs. They were actually able to
stockpile supplies for future use thus defeating the purpose of the Program.[13]

Lastly, the communists could concentrate automatic weapons fire and antiaircraft
artillery (AAA) along the rail line to provide the best defense. Because of concentrated
AAA fire, FEAF bombs had to be dropped from higher altitudes decreasing their accuracy.
Originally designed to last 45 days, the campaign was continually extended lasting seven

Simply stated the Communist transport systems were not the center of gravity. They
were not critical to the enemy’s pursuance of the war. The cost of the Operation was
enormous, antiaircraft fires accounted for 243 aircraft lost and another 290 severely
damaged. The cost in human terms was 243 airmen killed or missing and 34 wounded.[15]
Having realized the futility of the Rail Interdiction Program, FEAF redirected its
campaign from targeting rail network to targeting North Korean dams which later caused
flooding of the country’s rice crops (rail systems eventually) posing threat of mass
starvation, and ultimately forcing the North Koreans to negotiate for a truce. With a true
CG pinpointed at the very start of the air offensive, the Korean War could have ended
much earlier and sufferings could have been minimized.
The Gulf and Korean Wars bear credence to the fourth air power proposition of Col
Philip Meilinger USAF, which states, “in essence, air power is targeting, targeting is
intelligence, and intelligence is analyzing the effects of air operations.” He explained:

If one does not know air power exists, air power may be ineffective. Intelligence has
become a strategic resource. The key to all conflict is intelligence… Being able to strike
anything does not mean one should strike everything. Selecting objectives to strike or
influence is the essence of air strategy.

The doctrines presented in this article have profound importance in the formulation of
a palatable strategy against the enemies of the State. The powerful Warden’s command
and control model (even though many analysts say is confined only to war between
nations) could arguably be used in an insurgency environment. The reason is that the five
rings are also present in an insurgent force. The fact that Philippine insurgencies have
persisted for decades could have been partly attributed to incorrect selection of CG. An
insurgency conflict is a battle of the minds not of forces. The Decision Model by Wendel
and Tooke is highly recommended for planners. It is not enough that one knows the
enemy’s centers of gravity, it is equally important that he has the resources to overpower
them. This is the essence of strategy.


[1] RC Planet, Center of Gravity, December 1998

[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
1[4] Col John Osgood US Army, A Study of Clausewitz’s Concept of the Military Center
of Gravity.
1[5] Col John A Warden USAF, Employing Air Power in the 21st Century, 1992.
[6] Ibid.
[7] James Adams, The Next World War (Auckland 10, New Zealand, 1998) p. 4.
[8] Ibid., p 9.
[9] Lt Comdr Jeffrey A Harley US Navy, Information, Technology and the Center of
Gravity, NWC
Review, 1997
[10] Ibid.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Lt Col Michael A Kirtland USAF, Planning Air Operations: Lessons from Operation
Strangle in
the Korean War.
[13] Ibid.
[14] Ibid.
[15] Ibid.
Lt Colonel Ted Evangelista PAF (GSC)

Airpower did it for the AFP as we dealt the final blow on the MILF’s strongholds. It
is still airpower that is keeping our hopes alive in the Western front with our struggling air
assets in constant patrol. Our national leaders have recognized this potent role of the Air

Knowing the strategic role of the PAF, our most important air assets must be
secured and maintained. Worldwide, Air Forces are nestled in air bases with the most
important collateral facilities for effective functioning.

Development in recent years posed both

opportunities and threats to our peculiar branch of
service. Whereas, PAF used to enjoy independent
and uninterrupted use of the bases, other national
concerns have brought out ideas on joint-use
concepts and commercialization of bases. As a
result, Villamor Air Base was reduced to 99.91
hectares from 261.82 hectares. Still persistent are
negotiations and top-level talks for the joint use of
Fernando Air Base by commercial entities. Benito
Ebuen Air Base has shrunk in size in favor of the
so called economic development. Wallace Air
Station is under similar situation. Antonio Bautista
Air Base is likewise under threat with the ATO’s
planned expansion of the commercial airport.

Security factors dictates that opening the bases for commercial joint-use concept
is an added risk factor. With this alone, military bases are better off located apart and
independent. But with the government’s thrust towards improved income generation,
partly thru sale of government assets, even the armed sector was not spared.

Given these developments, how can we ensure the PAF existence? For one,
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo categorically declared that PAF units and personnel
will not be displaced unless there’s a prepared place for them to go.

Safeguards or safety nets were somehow

in placed to allow for displaced PAF units and
personnel to settle down. Our MOAs with
BCDA and concerned agencies stipulates
relocation of units and replication of facilities.
Nevertheless, even with the best of planners,
transition and relocations pose a lot of
problems. Even funds caused untold delays
contributing to the operational troubles for the
PAF. Once again, our airmen have displayed
their Filipino resiliency of adapting to changes
after changes.
On the opportunities side, these developments offered challenges especially to our
planners in re-engineering the Air Force. If plan will push through, VAB will be the site of
a modern-day hospital to cater to our men and their families. One-storey buildings were
already designs of the past as the shrunk bases give rise to two to four- storey buildings.
Even offices have to be designed to maximize available floor space.

Faced with this culture of change, the PAF is left with no option but to maximize
and take advantage of all the opportunities in the horizon. In the same light, the PAF can
start looking for other untapped land areas and reservations from where we can develop
our bases. Guimaras and available sites in Palawan offer such hopes. Ultimately, perhaps
we can still see the time when our air bases will be free from the friendly claws of private
and other government sectors and then we, the airmen, can concentrate on the basic
missions which are the raison d’etres of our existence.
Col Manuel L Natividad (PAF) GSC

The complex world environment and the sophisticated military capabilities of well-
armed nations have removed the time buffer previously enjoyed by the United States that
allowed it to mobilize and train to an adequate level of readiness before engaging in
combat operations. As recent events have illustrated, the U.S. ability to deter attack or act
decisively to contain and de-escalate a crisis was not entirely dependent on their combat
level readiness alone but also in their adept ability in harnessing alliance with other Multi
National Armed Forces towards a common objective. In this concept, the key to fighting
and winning is the understanding of how the US train to fight and the familiarity to the
peculiarities of combined and joint operations doctrines of the concerned allied nations.

In the local scene, the development of

Combined and Joint Operations Doctrine
falls under the Directorate for Field Training
Exercises, Office of the Assistant Chief of Air
Staff for Education and Training, OA-8. In
relation to this, the recent RP-US combined
Joint Combined Exercise Training Program,
code named TEAK PISTON 01-02, which was
held last January in Clark Air Field,
Pampanga and Subic Bay, Zambales
provided an opportunity for the said
Directorate to window new doctrines in
combined operations.

In the past TEAK PISTON Exercise, delegations from Air Defense Command, 5th
Fighter Wing, 205th Tactical Operations Wing, 15th Strike Wing, 220th Air Lift Wing, 710th
Special Operations Wing and other major units represented the Command. Fund support
for the exercise was released separately to the respective Wings. While the command and
control during the course of exercise rest on the shoulders of designated Officer-in-
Charge (OICs), who is usually the most senior officer in the delegation per unit. Under this
set up, we felt that the maxim of “centralize training planning and decentralize training
execution” is very difficult to achieve. Since each OIC coordinates directly to his
American counterpart, limited interaction can be gained. In this sense, this put more
premium on the improvement of individual skills which defeats the main objective of the
exercise which is design to enhance the combat readiness of the unit as a whole.

Upon the inception of the PEAK PISTON 01-02 in January 2001, the Office of the
Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Education and Training, A-8 appointed COLONEL DIEGO B
DASALLAS as the RP Exercise Director. He exercised both operational and administrative
control over the units. This established a more effective communications between the RP
and US contingents. Furthermore, this gave more time to individual unit coordinators to
concentrate more in planning, executing, and assessing training.
Take the Lead!
The PAF in Tactical
Capt Enrico B Canaya PAF

Tactical Operations Command

(TOC), now in its 3 year of existence,
has been cited for its laudable
achievements in the accomplishment of
its mission of providing tactical air
operations for the AFP. The significantly
increase in combat operations in the
Mindanao last year, brought the PAF in
the limelight as its fleet of combat
assets like the F-5s, OV-10s, MG-520s
supported by the UH-1Hs and
SAR helis, Nomads, C-130s, and Photo Reccon aircraft all roared into action. The
relentless waves of airstrikes drove the enemy forces scampering for refuge from the
pounding of heavy bombs and rockets. A tell tale sign that the AFP is on the way to crush
them with the Philippine Air Force taking the lead. Despite the limited number of these air
assets, the command was able to manage and orchestrate the air operations to optimum
performance. Such event brought this Command to occupy the highly regarded pedestal
that brought the glory for the Philippine Air Force and the Armed Forces as a whole.

The conflict offered an opportunity to enhance future operations to a similar scale.

The PAF came to agree that there were still flaws, weaknesses and problems that indeed
should be addressed or corrected in order to enhance future conduct of ISO.

Interoperability issues may be addressed

by: (1) requiring Commanders of Tactical
Operations Group (TOG) and pilots to
aggressively participate in the planning stage of
every joint operation in order to emphasize the
supremacy of Air Power, now conceded by world
military organizations. TOG Commanders are the
“Air Bosses” in their area of responsibility; (2)
maintaining a reliable Air-to-Air, Air-to Ground
communication, and an effective and secured
ground communication network to ensure timely
and quick reaction and employment of air assets
specially during Close Air Support (CAS)
missions; (3) reviewing, redeveloping and testing
doctrines and their applicability and reliability
particularly on interoperability during
joint/combined operations; and (4) maintaining
regular joint exercise with ground elements
through AGOS, ORE, Forward Air Controlling
Proficiency and other related drills.
Interoperability means team work.
Anticipation of future requirements in the field
by: (1) enhancing Maintenance support and field level
capability at the forward operating bases to minimize
scheduled and unscheduled maintenance standdown;
and (2) Acquiring Photo Intelligence data and
maintaining a continuous aerial surveillance in
potential target areas. Post Mission Analysis must
likewise be given utmost importance in order to
determine the effectiveness of operations. Bomb
Damage Assessments (BDA) must be timely and
accurate. It shall determine the accuracy of delivery
and assess the effectiveness of the type of airmunition

The Tactical Operations Command (TOC), will

remain as the defining unit of the Air Force and will
always be at the forefront of the AFP’s successes in
Internal Security Operation (ISO). With the
Commanding General’s rallying call of “faster,
stronger, and better” Air Force, the unit will continue to
improve towards the achievement of this goal.
Bomb damage caused by PAF aircraft
in operations against MILF.
2Lt Mary Pinky C Moises PAF

As darkness creeps in the sky, we remain vigilant in our

task. As people succumb to the inviting call of sleep, we
remain steadfast on our call. We are the guardians of the
Philippine skies, the AIR DEFENSE COMMAND.

“The defender of the Philippine skies” is a title that is

dearly treasured by the Air Defense Command. Its existence
completes the holistic approach of the Philippine Air Force
organization in the aspect of air power. As in any basketball
game the team target is not only to shoot as many balls for
score but also to strongly defend your position. And, that is
where the Air Defense Command comes in.

Originally, the Command was christened as the 1st Air Defense Division and was
organized on 1st April 1962. Four years later, it was renamed as the 1st Air Division with a
mission “of conducting air operations within its assigned area of responsibility”. In the
fateful day of 23 February 1995, the modernization of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) along
with the modernization of the rest of the Armed Forces was sent to full throttle. Two years
later, the Air Defense Command was activated as a successor of the 1st Air Division on 01
May 1997. Initially, two units were placed under the Command – the 5th Fighter Wing at
Basa Air Base, Pampanga and the 580th Aircraft Control and Warning Wing at Wallace Air
Station, La Union. Moreover, the Composite Tactical Groups/Squadrons in the Luzon area
originally comprised the command. However, due to the changes on the PAF set-up, the
CTGs / CTSs were transferred to the 1st Tactical Operations Wing. At present the
Command is on its way pursuing the realization of the 770th Surface to Air Weapons Wing
and the Air Traffic Control Group as additional members of its family. Truly, the Air
Defense Command had metamorphosed from a small division into a multi-tasked

The essentiality of the Air Defense Command in the Philippine Air Force and in the
country is best illustrated in its mission and functions. Its mission is “to defend, secure,
and protect the territory of the Republic of the Philippines”. The ADC mission is best
accomplished in the fulfillment of the following functions: provide active air defense;
conduct strategic strikes against enemy forces and installations; conduct combat air
patrol over the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG);
provide air surveillance, air warning, aircraft control, command and control and
communications network in support of the PAF Air Defense System; Strategically deploy
missiles to area and point defense against enemy air attacks; provide air support to
combat forces in maritime environment; monitor air and surface traffic on territorial air
space, EEZ and KIG; and perform other functions as directed by higher headquarters.
To carry out its mandated task, the Air
Defense Command through the Philippine Air
Defense System (PADS) is equipped with radar
facilities for early warning and fighter aircraft
detection. The PADS operation has two
functions namely air defense and air space
control. Furthermore, the Air Defense
Operations consists of the following functions:
provide tactical early warning of hostile air
activity; identify all air traffic in the Philippine Air
Defense Identification Zone (PADIZ); intercept
unknown aircraft penetrating the PADIZ and
engage hostile aircraft.

In addition the air space control is also termed as air surveillance management and
control. It encompasses the functions of detection, identification and classification,
continuous tracking of airborne objects, control and management of friendly air assets
and intercept of unknown airborne objects in assigned area of responsibility.

During peacetime operations, airspace control is maintained through cooperative

and coordinated efforts of both PAF and Air Transportation Office (ATO). During wartime,
the Philippine Air Force is the leading agency.

Compared to western air defense standards, the Air Defense Command is like a
child struggling to stand on its own feet and running after the more advanced air force of
other countries. For several years we helplessly admired in awe the air assets of our
neighboring nations. The saga of our self-pity and complaints of what we don’t have is
now over. It is true that our air capabilities are limited. It is true that we wait for
modernization as a remedy to our earnest desires. But until such time we shall be faithful
FORCE. We firmly share the ideas of our Commanding General, Lt Gen Benjamin P
Defensor Jr, that future generation will fly and fight in the air more and more years to
come. And, we will fly, we fill fight and we will win for our people, for only then we can
say we have conquered the skies. We shall master the air.

Men of character find a special attractiveness

in difficulty, since it is only incoming to grips with
difficulty that we can realize our potentials.
Nothing can break the dedication and the
perseverance of the men and women of the Air
Defense Command.

As our fellowmen are drawn to an inviting

sleep of the night, they will be assured in a new
tomorrow knowing there is an eye looking up in
the sky…the Air Defense Command.
Major Jesus
Madlangbayan PAF

The intention to beef up the attack

capability of 15th Strike Wing in the
wake of the continuous depletion of the
OV-10A “Bronco” fleet has led to the
reconfiguration of the SF-260TP to the
attack mode. The converted SF-260TPs,
dubbed as the Turbo Chargers, will then
assume the role as the OV-10’s little
brother in its ISO missions. It is “Little
Brother” in a way that it can fly in
formation with the Broncos during
airstike missions and expend a
maximum payload of 500 pounds of ordnance. The two hardpoints in the underwing can
carry a variety of ordnance, such as; bombs (110/260 lbs), rocket launchers (LAU 68/131),
flare dispensers (MK-24), practice bomb dispensers (B-37K), and even M-60 machine

The main advantage of this aircraft is its

agility and superb maneuverability that
translates to greater accuracy in hitting
targets. The big drawback, on the other
hand, is it being a single engine aircraft, no
ejection seat, and a history of engine quits.
Two incidents of engine quits while
airborne and another two during landing roll
led to its grounding in 1999 for more than a
year. Such incidents, according to the result
of the thorough investigation, were caused
mainly by -----improper maintenance
procedures compounded by a series of
incorrect actions on engine discrepancies.
Appropriate corrective measures were then
adopted, and the aircraft were later released
for operation.

These telltales of engine quits strike a fear among pilots. In reality, however, there is
no such thing as a 100% safe engine. There is always that possibility that something might
go wrong even for the latest and the brand new ones. Thus, for the SF-260TP and any
single engine aircraft in the world, a balance of good pilotage and good maintenance
system spells the right formula for safe flying.
In February this year, Lt General
Benjamin P Defensor Jr, CG, PAF, approved
the conversion of the remaining SF-260TPs in
the PAF inventory to attack configuration. At
least, ten are being projected to be completed
by August 2001. The conversion project is
handled by Air Force Research and
Development Center under the command of
Colonel Jose R Saplan. To date, six SF-260’s
including the Layang II have satisfactorily
completed the aerial test fires and other
related requirements. Layang II, the flagship
project of AFRDC, was the first to complete
the conversion and has been involved in a
series of test flights and fly-bys since then.

There have been some doubts before and, perhaps even now, as regards to the
airworthiness of the Layang II aircraft. Where others don’t dare, Captains Rey Rueca and
Aris Gonzales came into the picture to test fly and prove the airworthiness of the Layang
II. They have now logged in more than 50 flying hours in the aircraft. At the onset of the
conversion project, Major Jess Madlangbayan was tapped to spearhead the aerial test fire
and evaluation of the Layang II and all the converted SF-260TPs. He formulated the SF-
260TP delivery parameters and shared techniques in weapons delivery and airstrike
tactics. Moreover, the project could not have taken-off without the full support of Colonel
L Jose Reyes, the Chief of Air Staff and former A-3, and Col Jose C Nano, A-4, who risked
themselves by flying a number of sorties during the gunnery evaluation missions at Crow
Valley Gunnery Range.

With the transfer of the first two SF-260TPs to 15th Strike Wing in April 2001, there is
no turning back now. A colorful service awaits these aircraft as they tread the paths of the
legendary AT-28D Trojans and the OV-10A Broncos.
Col Roberto L Ricalde PAF (GSC)

The year 2000 begins the countdown for the new millennium. Many entities had
taken forward new programs to be accomplished: concerted efforts for a better future and
most probably reach the goal of success.

For the Air Reserve Command in the Year 2000, has faced all odds and difficulties in
the adjustment to changes in administration and has effectively attained its goal. The
activities ranges from the implementation of RA 7077 (AFP Reservist Act) which covers
mainly on reserve force development; assistance in relief and rescue operations and
development of the PAF affiliated units.

The whole year can be generally considered a fruitful one taking into account the
numerous services rendered to populace, particularly in environmental protection and
conservation through tree planting activities in Zamboanga City, Brookes Point & Puerto
Princesa City both in Palawan, Bicol Batangas and Benito Ebuen Air Base, Mactan Island,
Cebu; humanitarian services by conducting Medical and Dental Civic Actions in twenty
one (21) different areas in the archipelago which benefitted approximately fourteen
thousand six hundred ninety four (14,694) patients treated/given free medicines; provided
relief and Rescue Operations in eleven (11) occasions following natural and man-made
disasters/calamities and to top it all is the conduct of reservist and ROTC trainings that
will form part of the ready reserve units of the Philippine Air Force.

This is your Air Reserve Command ready to respond to the call of service by
providing a faster, stronger and better reserves to provide the base for expansion to our
Philippine Air Force in case of war, rebellion, invasion, or disaster/calamities.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this work are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official
policy or position of the Department of Defence, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Government of Australia
or that of the Department of the National Defense, the Philippine air Force of the Government of the Republic
of the Philippines. This document is approved for public release; distribution unlimited. Portions of this
document may be quoted or reproduced without permission, provided a standard source credit is included.

Command and Control

of Philippine Maritime Air Surveillance
Col Dexter O Huerto PAF (GSC)

The aim of this paper is to propose a command and control system for
maritime air surveillance for the Philippines. This aim will be achieved through the
following objectives:

· To identify the maritime air surveillance needs and tasks for both civil and military;
· To identify the difficulties, options and priorities for these needs and tasks;
· To envisage a maritime air surveillance concept of operation;
· To evaluate the different forms of command and control;
· To design a general concept of command and control system for the AFP; and
· To determine the optimal organization and arrangements to meet the Philippines’
needs and tasks.

This chapter will provide a strategic overview of the region, which has a direct
bearing on the Philippines overall national security interests and concerns, addressing
aspects of defense, security, economic development and protection. Another aspect that
will be covered is the international commitment of the Philippine government, in particular
concerning its relationship with other nations and the joint problems confronting them.
Considering these threats and risks, a common factor towards addressing these problems
can be viewed by controlling the sea. Again beyond the nation’s control, the
modernization program it tried to implement could not be realized due to the economic
downturn in the region.

The second chapter is a discussion of the

needs, tasks and present capabilities of the country’s
maritime air surveillance. The basis of the discussion
will address the overall objectives of the AFP
Modernization Law. These objectives are defence and
security of territorial integrity; assistance to other
governments in economic development and
environmental protection; and protection of its people
from natural and artificial calamities. Details of various
civil agencies’ concerns and interests in the maritime
regime are also outlined.

The third chapter is a discussion of basic definitions and principles of

command and control. It covers the elements of command and control including;
organization, process and facilities. Some new concepts such as the information age are
also briefly discussed.
The fourth chapter explores the different issues regarding the establishment of
command and control of maritime air surveillance. These issues include: the utilization of
the armed forces for maritime air surveillance; the appropriate level of coordination and
control; the surveillance requirements; the surveillance resources; the surveillance
product and the use of the civil system in contingency operations. Within this baseline,
four countries are analyzed and from this analysis conclusions pertinent to the Philippines
are derived.

The fifth chapter is an assessment of the command and control needs of the
Philippines with reference to the different issues discussed in Chapter Four.

The sixth chapter covers the proposed command and control for the Philippines’
maritime air surveillance system. The previously discussed elements and basic principles
are applied to develop an integrated approach addressing the overall maritime air
surveillance requirements. Also covered in this chapter is the recommended concept of
operations and corresponding technologies addressing specific tasks. Finally, the chapter
includes a recommended action plan. The plan sees the establishment of an overarching
organization and the resultant changes in some military and civil government offices.

The last chapter summarizes all the discussion in previous chapters and reinforces
the importance of unambiguous and integrated command and control of maritime air

* Book available at OSS,HPAF.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this work are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official
policy or position of the Department of Defence, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Government of Australia
or that of the Department of the National Defense, the Philippine air Force of the Government of the Republic
of the Philippines. This document is approved for public release; distribution unlimited. Portions of this
document may be quoted or reproduced without permission, provided a standard source credit is included.

Doctrine Writing Handbook

Major Noel L Patajo PAF

In all our daily activities, we follow certain rules and procedures that will make doing
things more smooth and systematic. Just think of a society without rules, there would be
anarchy and chaos. Hence, to put everything in order, certain ways of doing things must
be in place.

The Philippine Air Force (PAF), like any other organization, has its own set of rules
and procedures that guide all Air Force personnel in doing their tasks. This set of rules
and procedures are what we call “doctrines”. A mere discussion of doctrine causes some
people to shudder, eliciting looks of confusion from some, and looks approaching
mockery from others. The varied reactions of PAF officers may have some underpinning
reasons anchored to the history of the PAF and the military as a whole.

The intent of this book is to dispel the “academic aura” associated with “doctrine”
and present clear steps in the formulation, validation, evaluation, and revision of doctrine.
Doctrine is dynamic and as environment, organization, people, and equipment change,
doctrine should have parallel rational changes. Hence, every airman, more especially the
Commanders themselves must be able to review, revise, validate, and if necessary
formulate new doctrines. Change in doctrine is required but overall doctrine is usually
stable and should require change when major factors such as government policy,
weapons systems and enemy threat assessments change.
Chapter 1 is about doctrine definition, types, levels, sources and the nature of air power
doctrine. In this chapter, the framework of doctrine process will be presented. The chapter
discusses the phases of doctrine process and the doctrine writing process framework.

Chapter 2 of this handbook relates the background of the PAF development as a

major Armed Service, and the PAF’s quest for air power both as a doctrine and practice.
Like any air force in the world, the PAF began as a component of the Army. It is therefore
prudent to look back to the history of doctrine development of the Armed Forces. The
formative years of an institution provide insights to the interpersonal values of its
personnel. This Chapter includes several vignettes relating to the Philippine government
preparations for World War II. By knowing the mindset of both military and civilian leaders
in that tense era, doctrine writers are able to deduce the “best ways” as adopted by those
leaders. Doctrinal inclinations by leaders may be discernible from the decisions made
prior to the war. The discussion on the development of PAF as a major service deals with
the appreciation of the AFP to have an independent air force and events in the world that
set the trends for having a separate air force. The PAF quests for air power appreciation
deal with the not so distant efforts of the PAF to write its own doctrine and lately, the
appreciation of air power as a part of doctrine development within the AFP Modernization

Chapter 3 deals with the AFP Five-Step model of doctrine formulation. It is admitted
that the article of late Brigadier General Isidro B. Agunod AFP, heavily influenced this
chapter.1[1] The process of doctrine formulation will include strategy and policy
formulation process as guides for the formulation framework. It is the intent of this
chapter to relate the only Research and Development in Doctrine Development written by
an air force officer.

Chapter 4 is about Development of Military Doctrine. This chapter shows the

framework for consolidation/analysis, development-model-test, revision and validation.
This is the “doctrine loop” that distinguishes the writing process from the development of
the military doctrine.

Chapter 5 deals with the actual doctrine writing processes beginning with the
identification of the tasks, set-up of working party, timetable, establishment of objectives,
draft, compiling information to fill the outline, producing and endorsing the draft, printing,
submission for approval and distribution.

The queries of several air force personnel to OSS about doctrine indicate that there
are varying degrees of perception and depth of understanding. This handbook utilizes the
experience of OSS as it handles the doctrine development component of the PAF
Modernization. Whenever possible, comments and suggestions of various officers during
the countless meetings about doctrine are included and used to inspire and or justify
certain key steps. This research utilizes the various materials for Survey and Research,
manuals for Continuous Improvement Process, Strategy and Policy formulations, AFP
Doctrine Development Manual, PAF Regulations, SOPs and Circulars, history books like
“The Philippine Army 1935-1942” by Ricardo Trota Jose, “Philippine Campaigns” by
Uldarico Baclagon, Academy Scribe, and “By Sword and Fire” by Alfonso J. Aluit and the
Proposed PAF Air Power Manual, various papers in the Royal Australian Air Force, RAAF
Air Power Studies Centre, Air University Maxwell AFB, and other air power papers and
journals. The paper used various foreign manuals as well as local manuals as references
and a basis of comparison.

Doctrines can be dynamic and may change according to the type of conflict, along
with corresponding changes in the environment, political directions about the employment
of forces, and the doctrine of the threat force in particular. The importance in planning
and day-to-day operation of military operations cannot be overemphasized. The role of
doctrine in the life of an organization is influenced by professionals who advocate the
essence of documenting the day-to-day activities so that the best way of doing things will
be continually improved.

Through all this, the users of this handbook, especially the doctrine officers, are
reminded that steps enumerated are guidance only and not written in stone. Doubtless,
there will be better ways for doctrine development and its documentation, but as the
immense task of developing and writing doctrine lies ahead, this handbook serves as the
initial guide.

* Book available at OSS,HPAF.

1[1] Agunod, Brig General, AFP, The R&D of Doctrine Development, AFPJSCSC Pub, 1981.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this work are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official
policy or position of the Department of Defence, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Government of Australia
or that of the Department of the National Defense, the Philippine air Force of the Government of the Republic
of the Philippines. This document is approved for public release; distribution unlimited. Portions of this
document may be quoted or reproduced without permission, provided a standard source credit is included.



Colonel Fred R Llosa PAF (GSC)

After more than two decades of internal turmoil in the Philippines, almost all the
AFP’s resources were used in internal security operations and the external defence of the
country was relegated to the back seat. Somehow the presence of the United States forces
in the country has provided security umbrella and paradoxically imbued us false hopes of

The departure of the United States forces from the Philippines in 1991, due
to the abrogation of the Bases Agreement by the Philippine Senate and the sudden
eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, has left the country devoid of external defence and has become
openly vulnerable to foreign incursions and intrusions. The country was left to mend itself
against possible external threat, unfortunately, its external defence capabilities were in
total disarray. The fighter element of our external defence, the F-5 Freedom fighters that
has already seen its heydays, is unable to put up a descent deterrence against external
threats. The four surveillance radars that the Americans has provided us for our external
warning, has been reduced to only two operational radars with very limited capabilities.
The rest of the radars were either deactivated, unmanned or were simply left to decay due
to non-availability of spares or non-availability of funds for repair. The present situation is
the Philippines is left with only two surveillance radar with very limited capabilities and
leaving the rest of the country openly bare and unprotected against external incursion.

In 1995 the country woke up to find Chinese structures being put up at the Mischief
Reef, locally known as Panganiban Reef, just 120 nautical miles off the west coast of
Palawan and well within the 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the
country. Without the military strength to confront the Chinese, the country was
forced to use diplomatic venues to present the problem at hand without any success.
Three years after, the country was again shocked to find Malaysian structures at one of its
nearest shoals southwest of Palawan. Diplomatic protest, the only available course of
action left for the country, again proved futile. These subtle creeping incursion in our
territories, when left unabated will one day find us staring at them in our doorstep.
On 23 February 1995, the passing into law of
Republic Act Number 7898 better known as the AFP
Modernisation Act gave glimmer of hope to the very
limited external defence capability of the AFP.
Unfortunately, however, the Philippines is one of those
hardest hit by the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and the
promise of an unhampered modernisation program was
again derailed. One of the options left for the AFP,
particularly the PAF was for a joint use of highly valuable
but limited resources. On 16 March 1995, The PAF and the
ATO signed an agreement for the joint use of equipment
and facilities between them in the interest of the
Philippine government.

This book supports this endeavours as joint use if only to optimise the application and
use of such valuable and expensive equipment. This book further recommends that the
PAF procured surveillance radars’ optimum utilisation be shared not just for external
defence or for air traffic control use but also as a source of information that will be used
by other government entities and instrumentalities. This invaluable equipment will become
a national asset more than just a PAF tool.

Immediately after the end of World War II, the Philippines was granted full
independence by the United States. On 04 July 1946, the American flag, that had reigned
supreme throughout the archipelago for almost five decades, was hoisted down and the
Philippine flag has flown high signaling total independence from foreign dominance ever

History will tell that the Philippines was under foreign control since the Portuguese
explorer Ferdinand Magellan discovered it in 1521. Its discovery on 16 March 1521 was the
start of a long colonial rule of the Spaniards that lasted for more than 300 years. Spain’s
defeat by the Americans in the Spanish-American War ended its dominance in the
Philippines and the country was ceded to the Americans in 1898. Thereafter, the
Philippines was the colony of the United States of America until its granting of
independence in 1946. The rule was shortly interrupted during World War II when the
Japanese invaded the country in 1941. 04 July 1946, Philippines was granted
independence by the United States.

Nonetheless, the true essence of independence was never really experienced by the
Filipinos despite its granting in July 1946. The presence of the US bases in the Philippines
symbolises continued dominance of the Americans in the Philippines. Clarke Air Force
Base in Pampanga and the Subic Naval Base in Zambales, two of the US’ largest military
installations outside continental USA, projected US dominance not only in the Philippines
but also the entire Asia-Pacific region.

The defence umbrella that the US forces shrouded the Philippines supplemented the
existing air defence coverage of the Philippine Air Force. The surveillance radar used by
the PAF and by their USAF counterparts was part of the military hardware that the US
government has provided the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The F-86 D/F Sabre Jets
and subsequently the F-5 A/B Freedom Fighters, that performed as the fighter interceptors
providing the first line of the country’s external defence, were hands down support to the
PAF, et gratis.
The Philippine Air Defence Identification Zone (PADIZ)

The extent of coverage by the surveillance radar

of the Philippine Air Defence Identification Zone
(PADIZ) covers only the whole island of Luzon and
the northern part of the Visayas. The rest of the
Visayas and the entire island of Mindanao, including
its adjacent islands, were outside the radar
coverage. Incidentally, the focal point of this
coverage was noticeably Clarke Air Base and Subic
Naval Base. Congruently. the signing of the Mutual
Defence Treaty (MTD) by the two governments is
based on the principle of mutual security and
cooperation, although it is relatively beneficial to the
Philippines. The continued presence of the
Americans up to 1991 however, serve more to
project their dominance in order to protect their
vested interest in this part of the world.

After the abrogation of the US Bases Agreement in 1991and the departure of the US
forces from the Philippines, the problem of external defence came to the fore. The PAF
was left with fledging and outmoded F-5 aircraft for air interception and its air defence
radars, mostly non-operational due to lack of spares, were unable to provide the
necessary surveillance coverage. The deterrent factor of the US forces is gone leaving the
whole country openly vulnerable to foreign incursions or invasions. A glaring example of
this is the Chinese occupation in 1995 of Mischief Reef, which is just 120 nautical miles
from Palawan Island, well within the 200 mile EEZ of the Philippines.

Old reliable F-5 aircraft as fighter interceptors

The need therefore of a radar system that can provide the desired early warning for
the defence of the entire archipelago is primordial. The importance of a credible air
defence became extremely necessary not only to deter adventurism by other countries
against the Philippines, but also to protect its natural resources within its territorial
boundary and inside its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Unfortunately however, the economy of the Philippines has been greatly affected by
the Asian economic crisis in 1997. The procurement of a new and sophisticated radar
system will take up a big portion of the AFP’s already depleted budget. A joint use of
surveillance radars by the PAF for air defence and by the Air Transportation Office (ATO)
for air traffic control is proposed as an efficient and sensible application of scarce radar
Initially, the aim of this paper is to present a
comprehensive discussion on the joint use of radars
by both the Philippine Air Force (PAF) of the
Department of National Defence (DND) and the Air
Transportation Office (ATO) of the Department of
Transportation and Communication (DOTC). Of
importance, there is an existing implementing
agreement between PAF and the ATO on the joint
use of equipment and facilities signed 21 August
1997. The need for a discussion on the same topic
becomes redundant and irrelevant. This paper
therefore, will deal on PAF- procured radar providing
multifarious application not only for the PAF but
also to other government agencies including the
ATO. This simply means the surveillance radar
procured by the PAF is not just for air defence but
would also be a source of information needed by
other government instrumentalities in the
accomplishment of their assigned tasks or

* Bookavailable at OSS, HPAF.