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Vol 2, No 2

Modernizing Our Air Force:

A Way to Protect Our People's Freedom

The protection of our sovereignty and territorial integrity for the continued
enjoyment of our cherished ideals of freedom and democracy is the reason for being
of the Philippine Air Force. The PAF is ready and willing to defend these ideals and
improve the quality of life of every Filipino. Along with freedom is our responsibility
to see to it that our people are secure from both internal and external threats. These
responsibilities ultimately rest upon the political will and the combines effort of all
concerned instrumentalities of government to enable the Air Force to mount a
credible defense.

The rejection of the military bases agreement by the Philippine Senate led to the
eventual closure of the US military base and downgraded the external defense
capability of the country. This political decision brought the responsibility to protect
the from external aggression squarely upon the government. Unfortunately, there
has been an external defense vacuum since the departure of the Americans that has
yet to be fully and properly addressed by the government. This vacuum can be most
easily filled with a fully modernized Air Force.

Close to a decade after the passage of the AFP Modernization Law in 1995, not a
single aircraft was purchased to realize the purpose of providing the Air Force with
the capability to perform its mandate.

Meanwhile, the repository of doctrine, flying skills and experience of our pilots
and controllers is in danger of extinction if no aircraft is to defend our skies. There is
no way out of our primordial responsibility to defend our sovereignty, the only way is
for the political leadership to guarantee our people's freedom and their way of life.

Our sovereignty as a people and nation is our most precious treasure. As

servants of the people, it behooves the Air Force to be always at the ready to defend
Philippine Sovereignty. More than the men and women who vigilantly guard
Philippine Skies, it is the duty of every Filipino to help build a professional, well-
equipped, reliable and credible Philippine Air Force in the interest of the common

Commanding General, PAF

The 55 year of the Philippine Air Force’s existence as an Independent Major
Service is a great time to be a part of this proud organization. It is a time to take
stock of what we have done, celebrating our achievements and learning from our
shortcomings to avoid future mistakes and further improve ourselves as an
institution. After all, Anniversaries are not mere parades and ceremonies. They are
also a time to remember blessings and all of the significant events that added even
more color to the Air Force Story.

In the past year, we were in the forefront of the renewed drive of our
Government to eradicate the bandit Abu Sayyaf Group by bringing air power to bear
upon our enemies. We continue to take the lead in realizing the Government’s
initiatives in long-term sustainable development primarily through our long-range
and medium-range air transport assets and our Technical Service personnel. We
relentlessly pursue our own development through our evolving modernization
program. We are distinguishing ourselves in the Balikatan 02-2 joint military
exercises with the flying skill and professionalism that has earned the admiration of
our American allies. We even successfully defended our overall title in the AFP – PNP
Olympics, harvesting a record number of medals. Coming in first has become our
new trademark. This is the new Air Force we are creating for the future.

The past year has not been without our own share of setbacks, but as ever, we
bounced back strong and made certain that the lessons learned formed part of our
renewed drive towards constant improvement. Learning from these lessons have
allowed us to stay ahead and further sharpen our spurs as the First Force. For we
intend to move forward and upward always. Every step we take, we become
stronger, we become better.

This year, in view of our declining air assets are new, and promising
developments in our capability development efforts. Alongside fresh initiatives to
acquire new systems, Our Commander-in-Chief gave us a job to fast-track the
development of our basic doctrines in support of the employment of new weapons
systems and equipment. We are not merely acquiring material assets, we are also
developing new ways and means to better utilize those assets, maximize them and
innovate in our primary mission to fly and fight.

I am thankful to be blessed with Commanders, men and women who made the
Air Force faster, stronger and better. In particular, I am pleased with the efforts of
our staff to develop the study of Revolutions in Military Affairs, or RMA. RMA is the
new and emerging trend of future warfare. Primarily, it is the development of a new
and revolutionary way of fighting through the employment of new and old
capabilities. Given our mix of old and new equipment, I am certain that the PAF’s
wealth of intelligence and insight will allow us to develop our own capabilities to
allow us to be in step with our neighbors.

We will always improve. For at the end of each performance, the question will
not be how much we have achieved, but how much we have given. Not how many
victories we have won, but how much we have done. Not how much we were
honored, but how much we have served. The ideal of success is not enough if it does
not carry the ideal of service. This is the ideal of the First Force.

This is your PAF today, ever more ready, willing and able to be the first to
deliver, the first to respond and proud to serve. This is the foundation we have built
for the future. And the future, as I have always maintained, is in the skies.

I’ll se you there.

By Joseph W. Buduan

Clark Air Base lives two lives. It is an historical landmark and a major
Philippine military facility. Clark Air Base was born during that tumultuous period in
Philippine History known as the Filipino – American War at the turn of the 20

Fort Stotsenburg

It began as Fort Stotsenburg, laid out in 1902 – 1903. Most of the American forces
sent to put down the Philippine insurrection were cavalry units -- horse-mounted
troops – and were not used to fighting small bands of enemies on foot. Adding
further aggravation to their already dire straights, their horses were soon dying out
from eating local saw grass, thereby immobilizing the cavalry. Importing grass just to
feed the horses was not only costly but time-consuming.

Thus when the US 5th Cavalry came across fields near the village of Angeles in
Pampanga in the Central Luzon plain, where good grass grew, the American military
commanders decided to turn the entire area into a permanent bivouac. Late in 1902
US Army Engineers laid out a military reservation encompassing some 7, 700 acres.
The camp was named Fort Stotsenburg, in honor of Col. John M. Stotsenburg, who
had been killed in April 1899 while leading an attack in Quingua in the province of

On September the First, 1903, Pres. Roosevelt declared Fort Stotsenburg to be

an official military reservation. Five years later in April of 1908, Pres. Roosevelt
issued another executive order, this time increasing the size of Fort Stotsenburg to
156, 204 acres.
Within roughly a 20-year period, from 1902 - 1919 the crude bivouac had
slowly taken form as a modern American military facility. By 1917, hangars and other
aircraft support facilities were finished. In 1919, the Aerodrome of Fort Stotsenburg
was officially named in honor of Major Harold M. Clark, an early Army Aviator who
was killed in a seaplane accident later on in Panama. The Air Base still bears Major
Clark’s Name to this day. By 1947, the US 13 Air Force that saw action in Leyte,
Luzon and the Southern Philippines moved to Clark Air Base, starting its new era as
an exclusive military air facility.

The Philippine Era

It was still roughly over 150, 000 acres wide for over 70 years until it was
modified by the Military Bases Agreement of 1979; its overall size was reduced to
131, 000 acres. The Agreement of 1979 effectively returned sovereignty over the
bases to the Government of the Philippines. In February of 1979, then Armed Forces
Chief of Staff Gen. Romeo Espino raised the Philippine Flag over Clark Air Base,
signaling yet another new era for Clark under Philippine sovereignty.

Overseas American Military Bases

The idea of American military bases on foreign shores was brought about by
the tensions of the Cold War. America was alarmed by a potential “domino effect” in
the developing world as the Communist wave spearheaded by the Soviet Union and
the People’s Republic of China were gaining footholds in various smaller countries in
the former Indo-Chinese territories of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. As part of the
American-led strategy of Containment, it established military installations in its ally
territories. The US 13 Air Force also had stations in Okinawa and Guadalcanal, apart
from Clark Air Base. Clark Air Base was the largest American military installation
outside of the Continental United States.

The Philippines was of key strategic importance during the height of the Cold
War since it was located practically in the midst of the Southeast Asian region. Its
sea-lanes and airspace remain vital routes in the event of any great geopolitical
developments that could escalate into open hostilities. It remains just as vital to
maintaining the balance in international politics to this very day. Keeping open the
busy sea-lanes that lead to the Far East and traverse the South China Sea remain key
to maintaining any kind of balance in the Asian region.

Clark Air Base is the linchpin that held this arrangement together and
maintained the balance in the Cold War Era here in the Asia-Pacific Region.
Fortunately, the great thermo-nuclear war everybody feared never came to pass. The
Cold War ended with a whimper as the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990. America then
decided to downsize or clear out altogether many of its overseas military facilities.

The PAF in Clark

The American Government was hoping to extend the Military Bases

Agreement beyond 1991, but the Philippine Senate effectively terminated the
agreement. By November of 1991, the last of the American personnel cleared out as
official control over the base was fully turned over to the Philippine Air Force, ending
the great era of American military presence in the country. Then Brigadier General
Leopoldo S. Acot was the Clark Air Base Commander when the historic turnover took
place. Brigadier General Benito P. Diamos was the last Clark Air Base Command or
CABCOM Commander and became the first Wing Commander when it was
transformed into the 600 Air Base Wing in January of 1993.

Pinatubo’s Fury

It seemed foreboding that the PAF took over Clark Air Base when Mt.
Pinatubo, after centuries of dormancy, erupted in a fury that lowered the overall
temperature of the entire planet. So devastating was the eruption that it was a full
two years from 1991 – 1993 that the volcano remained a very real threat. Long after
the eruption, lahar flows and intermittent ash fall continued to plague the province of
Pampanga as well as the neighboring provinces of Zambales and Tarlac.

The first great task of the PAF was to clean up Clark Air Base. Although the
Americans did a great deal of cleaning up on their way out, the ash fall and the lahar
caused by Pinatubo continued well after the Americans left. The 600th Air Base Wing
under Gen. Diamos practically spent its first year of existence cleaning up after the
devastation of the volcano. Slowly but steadily, Clark Air Base began regaining its old
form. Still, the after-effects of Pinatubo’s eruption lingered long after the volcano
had once again settled down, and PAF personnel were not too keen about staying in
Clark Air Base.

The Air Force City

But in October of 1997 a maverick Colonel named Benjamin P. Defensor Jr.

became the new 600 ABW Commander, and a new era in Clark Air Base unfolded.
Defensor brought a reputation of achievement to Clark as Commander of the 600
ABW. It was under Defensor’s term that the Air Force City was born. Defensor led
the way as the Air Force practically undid the damage done by Pinatubo and
transformed the moribund base into the PAF Model Base for 1998. The Air Force City
soon became the model facility by which all other AFP Facilities would be compared.

There are now six tenant units calling the Air Force City home including two of
the five major PAF Commands, the Air Logistics and Support Command (ALSC) and
the Air Reserve Command (ARC). Under the ALSC are the 410th Maintenance Wing
and the 420th Supply Wing. With them are the 672nd Finance Service Unit and the
PAF’s own special operations unit, the 710th Special Operations Wing. The latest
addition to the growing list of PAF Units at the Air Force City is the 1 Tactical
Operations Wing, which oversees all PAF operations in the entire Luzon Region.

Clark Air Base is no longer just a purely military facility, which gives further
credence to the reality that is now the Air Force City. With the creation of the Clark
Development Corporation in 1993 and the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) the
base is now a multi-purpose area that is geared towards not merely military purposes
but more importantly towards being an engine for sustainable long-term economic
development for the entire country.

In fact, the 600th ABW is tasked with the security, preservation and
maintenance of the expansive 4, 400 hectares making up the entirety of the CSEZ and
not just the PAF Facilities therein. Among the non-military facilities under the mantle
of the 600th ABW are the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, the Duty Free
shops, the Mimosa and Fontana Leisure Estates and the Centennial Expo Site. In line
with the renewed Command vision of establishing and developing close ties with the
host communities, the 600th ABW also works closely with Local Government Units in
Angeles and Mabalacat in livelihood programs and other Civil-Military Operations.
With more private companies expected to settle in the CSEZ over the next few years,
the Air Force City is expected to continue to grow and expand as the PAF itself takes
on even greater responsibilities at Clark Air Base.

The Bases Conversion Development Authority

But the development of military facilities into multi-purpose metropolitan

complexes with mixed-use civilian and military facilities entered a new phase when
the government decided to formalize this thrust through enabling legislation and not
merely by executive fiat. Suffice it to say that this action continues to be highly

Republic Act No. 7227 created the Bases Conversion Development Authority
(BCDA). This statute accelerated the conversion of vast tracts of military
reservations and former US Military Facilities into other productive uses under the
auspices of the BCDA. Its policy statement declared “the government will accelerate
the sound and balanced conversion into alternative productive uses of the Clark and
Subic military reservations and extensions… “

Funds to be used will come from the sale in part or in whole of Metro Manila
military camps and bases. It was also the declared policy of the government to
enhance the benefits to be derived from the sale of these military properties to
promote the economic development of Central Luzon in particular and ultimately the
entire country in general.

As beneficial as the reasons for enacting this law may be, the BCDA has not
really lived up to its intended role of being the lead agency to ensure that the
government will gain maximum benefits from the sale of military real estate. Acting
in the capacity of a private real estate broker more than a government
instrumentality, the BCDA has made some questionable moves.

For instance, among its many functions, the BCDA is tasked with replicating
military facilities once they are moved to a new location after said facilities are
removed from their former locations in the aftermath of a sale of military real estate.
This means that if a unit used to occupy a single-story structure with a total floor
area measuring 100 square-meters, in the event it is transferred after a sale, the
BCDA must be able to provide for say a two-story structure with the same total floor
area for the unit upon its relocation. Otherwise, the BCDA cannot facilitate the sale
of that particular property.

Unfortunately, the BCDA has gone ahead and done precisely that, with AFP Units
winding up as victims because of this negligence. Some of the PAF Units and
facilities that transferred to Clark Air Base from Villamor Air Base are among the
BCDA victims, having to settle for smaller workplaces and shortchanged facilities. It
is often a misconception that newer facilities are better facilities, such as in this case.
The BCDA even wanted to build a new runway right through the PAF runway and
relocate the PAF yet again to an even worse corner of the reservation, after the PAF
had done the hard work of rehabilitating and improving the runway.

Implications For the PAF

While the template for mixed-use military and civilian facilities has found
success in other parts of the world, the same cannot be said for the Philippines. And
the most immediate loser in this scheme is the PAF. The greater injustice is that it
was the Air Force that took the lead in cleaning up and starting the rebirth of Clark
Air Base after the Pinatubo eruption and the departure of the Americans when
everybody else was dallying and could not even see much hope for the base.

It was the Air Force that secured the entire facility, imposing law and order in
the tumult after the departure of the Americans and the eruption. It was the Air
Force that got the facilities up and running less than a year after the devastation
wrought when Pinatubo erupted. In fact, a PAF C-130 was the first aircraft to land at
Clark Air Base after the eruption and departure of the Americans in 1992. When Clark
was formally turned over to the PAF, it was given the worst corner of the reservation,
having been overgrown with vegetation and practically cemented in by lahar and ash.
Yet in only a year, the Air Force City was born and PAF Units began relocating soon

Now, even though the Air Force is legally mandated to secure Clark Air Base, it
seems as if the BCDA is having a far greater say than the PAF about the future of
Clark Air Base. Of the 4, 400 hectares making up the CSEZ, the PAF was given only
350 hectares for its exclusive use. All of the air service facilities being used by both
military and civilian air transport were all rehabilitated under the auspices of the PAF,
not the least of which is the fully refurbished Haribon facility and the new C-130
hangar. In short, after the Americans left and even before the BCDA, the CDC and the
CSEZ were created, when nobody else saw much hope for Clark, the PAF had already
claimed Clark Air Base and brought it back to life.

The Bottom Line

The PAF fully supports the development initiatives of the government. It has
even taken the lead in these initiatives through its own operations using its own
initiatives. That is precisely why the Air Force City was created. It was meant to be a
modern metropolitan multi-use complex that enhances the fulfillment of the mission
of the PAF. But because of some questionable undertakings of the BCDA, the PAF is
finding that instead of being a partner, its role and its voice in Clark Air Base is slowly

There is still hope to turn this unfortunate trend around, through dialogue and
more genuine empowerment for the PAF. The law itself mandates not merely a PAF
presence at Clark, but an empowered PAF that is a partner in its development. A
diminished PAF presence in Clark means a diminished capacity for development for
the CSEZ and the country as a whole.

The Air Force City is but a glimpse of what the PAF can accomplish when it is
fully empowered. The PAF already has the institutional capabilities to be an effective
partner, not merely an effective security force. All that is needed is to make certain
that as a real stakeholder, the PAF is not overruled or bypassed by those who do not
have the sympathy to see what Clark is all about. As stated earlier, it leads two lives,
as an historical landmark and as a major Philippine military facility. Now it is about
to have a third life: as a major engine for national development. No less than the
President herself concurs that the future is in the skies. Who but the PAF could
better take the lead in building and securing that future? But for now, the query
remains: Quo Vadis, for the PAF, for Clark Air Base, and for the National Government.



1. Executive Order Number 394 issued by Pres. Corazon C. Aquino in September of


2. Republic Act Number 7227, the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1991.

3. Presidential Proclamation Number 163 issued by Pres. Fidel V. Ramos in April of


4. Executive Order Number 80 issued by Pres. Fidel V. Ramos in April of 1993. This
established the CDC, the BCDA and the CSEZ.

5. Republic Act Number 7898, an Act Providing for the Modernization of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines and Other Purposes, 1995. (The PAF Modernization Program
was the template for the AFP Modernization Program)

6. PAF Memorandum of Agreement with the BCDA, signed during the term of Lt. Gen.
Nicasio Rodriguez as CG, PAF.


The Third Tactical Operations Wing (3 TOW) is the First Force in Mindanao
that provides Tactical Air Power all over its area of responsibility. Its mission is to
conduct sustained air operations in coordination with the ground and naval forces of
the Southern Command. In order for the 3 TOW to perform its mission, it performs
the following functions: close air support and interdiction, air mobile operations, air
assault and air logistic operations, tactical airlift operations, resupply air operations,
insertion and extrication, combat search and rescue, casualty air evacuations, air
reconnaissance and surveillance operations, forward air control operations, maritime
air patrol in support to socio-economic and national development. Lastly, it
organizes, trains and develops its personnel and other personnel of the Army, Navy,
PNP, reservists, and civilian auxiliaries to enhance unit operations, civil defense and
disaster preparedness. In short, 3rd TOW caters all air operation requirements of
Southern Command, other government agencies, and some legitimate non-
government organizations (NGOs) of the whole Southern Philippines.

3 TOW is the only wing that is situated in the long war-torn Mindanao. The presence
of the 3 TOW, the bedrock of Tactical Air Power in Southern Philippines, is a force
multiplier to the ground and naval forces of Southern Command. During the All Out
War against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Abusayyaf Group (ASG), 3rd
TOW performed exceptionally well in providing simultaneous sustained air operations
against the lawless groups. The virtually non-stop pressures coming from the air
were just too much for the enemies thus they were forced to give up their
strongholds and surrender themselves to the government troops.

Just recently, 3 TOW again has proven itself by successfully defending Edwin
Andrews Air Base and Tactical Operations Group (TOG) 9 from the massive attack of
the Misuari Renegade Group (MRG). It effectively and efficiently employed all its air
assets like the OV-10s, SF-260s, MG-520s and UH-1Hs against the MRGs during the
siege of Jolo and Cabatangan last 19 November 2001 and 27 November 2001,
respectively. Without the close air support provided by the 3 TOW in those
incidents, the AFP ground troops might have encountered strong resistance of MRGs
from Cabatangan Complex and have found it impossible to neutralize them in a short
period of time. In the operations against the ASG, the 3 TOW was again very
instrumental in the successful rescue of the Sipadan and Dos Palmas hostages and
the members of Miracle Crusade who were held captives by the Abusayyaf. Likewise,
the Wing contributed a lot in the killing of hundreds of Abusayyaf members by
providing close air support, air interdiction, casualty air evacuation of friendly troops
and resupply missions that brought the fighting government troops in a state of high

Nowadays, 3 TOW is still and will
remain to be a vital factor for the total
annihilation of ASG and for the
successful rescue of the remaining
hostages. In the ongoing Balikatan 02-
1, the presence of the US troops in
Zamboanga City and Basilan Island
greatly enhanced the operational
capability of the government troops
operating in the area. The high-
tech air assets like the MH-47
“Chinook”, HH-60 “Pavehawk” /
“Blackhawk”, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
(UAV) “Predator”, P-3 “Orion” and other
modern equipment like the satellite

communication equipment and high powered weaponry of the US troops particularly

the US Joint Special Operations Air Component (JSOAC) project tactical air power day
and night. The concept of air operations of Balikatan 02-1 is for the PAF to have the
daylight flyingmissions and nighttime for the JSOAC. These combined air operations
of 3 TOW, PAF and JSOAC make the ASG on the run 24 hours a day and 7 days a
week thus making the bandits sleepless and tired of running from the pursuing
government troops. The three (3) month combined operations of RP-US troops have
been very effective as manifested by the significant number of the ASG who
unconditionally surrendered, were killed and captured. Numerous infrastructures
were also undertaken benefiting the local populace.


Basilan and Jolo Islands are only small islands but have the most difficult
terrain to operate. Located both in the southern part of Mindanao, these two forested
islands have been a constant haven of Muslim terrorists and rebels. Because of the
unforgiving terrain, the five-grid square on the map will take the army troops five (5)
to six (6) days to travel by foot. Considering that the enemies in the said areas are
composed of only ten (10) to fifteen (15) armed individuals and splintered into
several groups, they are very mobile and unpredictable. They also don’t stay in
permanent camps and only harbor in different places at very short period of time.
Likewise, the enemies have the knowledge of the local terrain thus making them
move freely and swiftly mostly during nighttime. Given these situations, a company
or a battalion ground movement that will take five (5) to six (6) days to reach a
certain objective with the enemy group composed only of ten (10) to twenty (20)
individuals that are very mobile is inappropriate. The enemy concept of operations
makes the bandits and terrorists a very difficult target of the government troops.
Given these conditions, the only way to counter the enemy’s concept of operations
is to have sustained airmobile operations that will quickly insert and extricate the
ground troops in and out of the battle zone. In this kind of concept, it requires only
several well-equipped and highly-trained Light Reaction Force (LRF) composed of
seven (7) to twelve (12) soldiers who are capable of fast roping or rappelling from a
chopper and be deployed very quickly. With this, the five-grid square that will take
the army guys five (5) to six (6) days to walk will only be traveled in less that seven
(7) minutes by LRF in air mobile operations using UH-1Hs. This will also fully exploit
the capability of the UH-1Hs in bringing the timely employment of force to block and
strike into the battle zone and go away with the practice of using them like taxi to
ferry VIPs. The concept of using UH-1Hs for insertion and extrication missions have
the advantage of speed and accuracy over the enemy, thus, attaining the element of
surprise - a very important element in the operations in Basilan and Jolo. On the
other hand, the extensive use of air platform in Jolo and Basilan Islands has great
psychological impact both to friendly and enemy troops. The psychological impact of
this to friendly troops is that it gives assurance to the fighting troops on the ground
that they can be evacuated easily and be transported to the nearest hospital if they
get wounded in action. It also gives the ground troops easy time to get into and out
of the target objective without hassle and danger of ambush form the ground. For the
enemies, hearing the roaring engine of the aircraft and the thunder-sounding guns,
seeing the rockets and bombs drop from the sky make them worry a lot. Aside from
fire coming form the ground troops, the projection of force from the air gives the
enemies small and limited space to go and hide thus making them vulnerable and
easy targets.


The aging fleet of air assets of the Philippine Air Force stationed at 3 TOW is
far beyond compare from the high tech avionics and navigational equipment of the
US aircraft. The capabilities between the PAF and US aircraft may differ a lot but the
caliber of PAF pilots in terms of flying skills is unprecedented. However, it is still a
must for the Philippine Air Force to be modernized. The PAF must have the advanced
technology of weaponry, aircraft, communications, and information and targeting
system in order to have efficient and enhanced capabilities in day and night air
operations. Without these, the lawless groups will keep on exploiting the present
limitations of the PAF aircraft to operate at night.
For a very technical branch of service like the
Philippine Air Force, fighting at the different fronts
of war requires reliable advanced air platform that
can meet the present internal and external security
concerns and other requirements of the Philippine
government. The horizon seen by the naked eye
from the ground and from the air differs a lot.

From the ground, it is limited to the contours

and obstacles of the terrain; while from the air, the
only limit is as far as the eye can see the horizon. It
is the application of Tactical Air Power that can
change the outcomes of the wars of today and of
the future.

As the only unit in the area that has the capability to project the lethality of
Tactical Air Power, 3 TOW will remain to be the edge force of Southern Command
against the MILF, CPP-NPA, ASG MBG, and other lawless elements in Mindanao.
Therefore, ground commanders who orchestrate the battle plan in Mindanao must
seriously consider Douhet when he pointed out that “Anyone considering the ground
and naval operations must of necessity remember that above land and sea is the air.”


(Basing from a male’s own sphere of concerns and observations)

Today, the modern society has started to take cognizance of the emerging role
of women in a more complex world of male oriented professions. Changes in views
have become more apparent although some still expect a few of them to make it. But
those who are categorically fated to succeed have ascended at par with their male
counterparts. Women are now seen to proliferate even the world of men in uniform.
Suffice it to stay that they have invaded almost every place in this society.

They eat the same food. They use the

same sink. They sleep at one barracks
(although in separate cubicles) and they
even use the same squeaking steel bunks.
They jog in our own pace, they sweat
whenever we sweat. They go wherever we
go. They content themselves to an
environment where a life of comfort and
leisure is all too far from reality. In short,
they too, to endure the uncertainty of a
dislocated life in the field.

They wear the same uniform and use

the same equipment. They control and
operate the same aircraft. They perform the
same mission and face the same level of
danger in flight.

They undergo the same flight training with disregard to their inherent

physiological limitations. They are subjected to the same rewards for their well-

done accomplishments they will even serve the same set of punishments for their

It seems that nothing really separates or
differentiates women from the rest. Yet some
say women still cannot outlive the stringency
of life in this field. Their efficiency in combat
is still a discussion on the table. It has been
the recurrent theme in the society ever since
they were given the chance to prove

Their persistence to dominate this male

profession has been an old age subject of
scrutiny by other illiberal members of the
society. But as time passes by, little by little
qualms and inhibitions are being set aside.

In the Philippine Air Force, it has only been four years since lady pilots were
involved in combat operations. Not much can be concluded in this short period of
time, and with a few number of lady combat pilots as guinea pigs, the study is
somehow limited. There maybe observations on the presence of women in the field,
but these could not make a general conclusion as to whether women are really
efficient in combat.

There are many areas to consider regarding this issue. If mission

accomplishment alone is our concern, the presence of women is not a disadvantage.
So far, as co-pilots and wingmen in the MG-520 and OV-10, the lady combat pilots
have performed as well as their male counterparts. Technical and tactical skills are
not much different since these are all acquired during training. However, the
efficiency of women at the command level still remains to be proven since, as of the
present, none of our lady pilots have reached such positions (e.g. Element Lead). It is
in the area where, female commanders are tested on their decisiveness, which is,
theoretically, greatly affected by their emotions and perhaps their “fickle

The greatest concern regarding the

presence of women in combat is their
billeting facility. Previous commanders
hesitated to deploy women because they
have to spend some more to renovate
and improve the deployment areas so as
to accommodate them.Although these
women have been trained to survive in
different types of environment, we
cannot remove the fact that they are still
women in a male environment and are
prone to harassment. The living
environment is not only a concern for
women combatants but also for the men
as well, since this greatly affects morale
and subsequently mission
Believe it or not, there are even some male pilots who are much more particular
with their personal hygiene than the females.

Problems regarding female combatants in the Air Force are not much different
from those in the Army and the Navy. The Philippine Army have tried putting their
women in the front line as company commanders and platoon leaders, and the same
problem billeting is true. Likewise, in the Navy, midship women are not only allowed
to assignments in the ships, which have provisions for women.

Not all people have the same view on the efficiency of female combatants.
Perhaps there are still some who prefer women to stay home and watch their own
families. But times change. Unlike before, where battles are fought physically, today,
our battles are greatly influenced by technology. Time will come when battles will be
fought from the neck up and probably, by that time, more women will be involved.

Efficiency in combat is not gender-oriented. It simply depends on the attitude

of every individual towards his profession. There are only a few women who choose
to risk their lives in combat.

Unlike men, who are generally war-freak, most women still prefer to be the
caring and loving mothers at home.

Those who chose to risk their lives, definitely, are very efficient in their own
fields because they have placed their hearts and minds on it. Maybe, you cannot put
all the women the world in combat, but only select a few who are determined and
willing to face the challenge.
A Visionary Strategy for the Future of the Philippine Air Force



The role of technology in defense and security is increasingly proliferating

where the capability of the armed forces depends on the achievement of technology.
Today, it is clearly that military theorists around the world are deeply contemplating
the consequences of technology in the future conduct of warfare. Consequently, with
the advent of technical advancements, developed countries worldwide have
broadened parameters in the conduct of their national security affairs. A major
revolution in national security affairs is dynamically emerging as a result of the
advancement in the area of information technology. Hence, a new concept of
information warfare known as the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) is beginning to
shape the future of defense establishment.

The RMA issues emerged out of the post-Cold War era during the late 80’s
when debate about star wars and its implications to military strategy was
conceptualized. Moreover, military theorists and historians have long noted the
existence of historical revolutions. They believed that these historical revolutions
were caused by the introduction of new technological breakthroughs including
weapon systems. In contrast, the Soviets called these series of events as Military
Technical Revolutions (MTRs). Their theory was founded on the concept that the
incorporation of radically sophisticated capabilities into existing military forces would
provide them an advantage in the conduct of decisive military operations in the
European theater against NATO. Thus, following the introduction of MTR came the
introduction of the term RMA by analysts in the United States whose definition is
more technologically oriented.


RMA is defined as a major change in the nature of warfare brought about by

the innovative application of new or even existing technologies which when
combined with dramatic changes in military doctrine, operational and organizational
concepts, fundamentally alters the character and conduct of military operations. With
this definition, it’s quite obvious that past historical events illustrate some forms of
RMA. A representative illustration is provided by Krepinevich (1994), who outlines
ten such “military revolutions” occurring from the fourteenth century forward,
namely: The Infantry Revolution; The Artillery Revolution; The Revolution of Sail and
Shot; The Fortress Revolution; The Gunpowder Revolution; The Napoleonic
Revolution; The Land Warfare Revolution; The Naval Revolution and; The Nuclear


Scholars widely believed that RMA are usually associated with three essential
elements, namely: technological change acting as a catalyst; transient innovations in
the tactical and operational levels and; the development of more enduring concepts
in the form of doctrines and organizational changes. Likewise, it is recognized that
RMAs comprise four types of simultaneous and mutually supporting change:
technological change, systems development, operational innovation and
organizational change. On the other hand, it is expected that RMA impact in the
conduct of warfare will come from the integration of four areas, namely: precision
strike; information warfare; dominating maneuver and; space warfare. However, it is
maintained that the key to achieving the next revolution in military affairs will not be
found in technology itself, but rather in the adoption of new operational concepts and
organizations as well as new and more relevant doctrine that fully exploit


In 1995, Congress passed Republic Act No. 7879, otherwise known as the
Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Law. The law declares a state policy
“to modernize the AFP to a level where it can fully and effectively perform its
constitutional mandate of upholding the sovereignty and preserving the patrimony of
the Republic of the Philippines”. It is under this premise that the PAF had its own
paradigm shift towards achieving RMA. The PAF as the primary defender of the
country’s skies will develop its capability based on intrasystematic advantage.
Intrasystematic advantage as a means to exploit RMA is what the nation’s economic
condition dictates. This RMA strategy is defined as exploiting Information Technology
(IT) to enable one’s own military system to operate more efficiently and effectively
than it did before, own-system features are the targets for change, and the criteria
for improvement are based on own- system performance. Through this undertaking,
the PAF will exploit RMA to empower the five pillars of the Air Force Modernization
Program with emphasis on Capability, Materiel and Technology. Moreover, aerial
assets will be strategically revolutionized through the acquisition of aircraft capable
of gathering massive amounts of information, greater range of striking power, higher
accuracy and equipped with integrated weapons systems. Likewise, aircraft with
C4ISR (Command, Control, Communication, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance
and Reconnaissance) equipped with satellite video, gyro-stabilized cameras, side and
forward looking radars and data communication links form part of the PAF inventory
to be purchased. As such, future military operations will reduce civilian casualties
and compression of time on the battlefield. Significantly, through these highly
advanced air assets, integration and coordination with naval and ground forces will
facilitate the overall conduct of military operations.

However, it is important to note that PAF RMAs embrace changes in other

factors such as organization and concepts aside from technology. In other fields of
the PAF Modernization Program, the development of doctrine and organizational
structure of the Air Force will significantly provide the foundation in the conduct of
present and future air operations. The PAF as a technically oriented force must
enhance unity of command and economy of force to optimize available resources and
to become cost-effective. On the part of doctrine development, the Air Force will
continue to review, evaluate and validate new concepts, strategies and tactics that
are in consonance with the employment of acquired capabilities. Additionally, the PAF
included Human Resource Development to enhance its forces with education and
training, technical skills and value formation. Finally, Bases Support Systems
Development will be pursued to provide forces with strategic, operational and tactical
advantage. The development of PAF bases in geared towards the promotion of
aerospace industries, joint military, commercial and interagency operations, and
aircraft maintenance centers.

As the PAF moves forward with its response to RMA, it may want to view the
phenomenon both as an opportunity and a challenge. It is an opportunity because it
will empower military air power, and at the same time a challenge because of the
rapidly expanding role of the Air Force in the future. With RMA, the PAF is ready to
take-off to soar the infinite skies equipped with a strategic vision to revolutionize the
future of military operations.



1 Dr. Elinor Sloan, Canada and the Revolution in Military Affairs, 2000, p.1

2 Randall Whitaker, The Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), 1995, p.1

3 Ibid., p. 9

4 Ibid., p. 9

5 Ibid., p. 9

6 Lt Col Edmundo F. Gammad PAF, Revolution in What, 1997, p. 4

7 AFP Modernization Program, 2001 Annual Report, p. 2

8 Randall Whitaker, The Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), 1995, p.2
(1995-2001) AN ASSESSMENT
“At the heart of war lies doctrine. It represents the central beliefs for waging war in
order to achieve victory…It is the building material for strategy. It is fundamental to
sound judgment.”

General Curtis E. Le May, USAF


The need for an institutionalized process in the development of doctrines was

given impetus by the Armed Force of the Philippines only in the early 1990s during
the crafting of the modernization program and its subsequent deliberations by

The AFP Modernization Program began with only four components, that is,
without the doctrine development component. The four components were
Organizational Development, Materiel and Technology Development, Bases
Development, and Human Resources Development. In the Philippine Air Force
(PAFP), the premise for all these components was based on the perceived best way to
organize, equip, base and train to attain the level of the modern Air Force. It should
be noted, however, that the PAFM 0-1 is outdated and does not include the whole
spectrum of the current PAF missions and functions. During the deliberation of the
AFP Modernization Program, some lawmakers queried on the basis for the
modernization plan, hence, the inclusion of doctrine as a component of

In 1995, Republic Act 7898, otherwise known as the Armed Forces of the
Philippines Modernization Law was enacted essentially with five-component areas.
Among the five areas, doctrines development is considered as a fundamental basis
for other component areas. It is significant to note that it was during the
Congressional inquiries regarding the rationale of other components that doctrine
became a tacit requirement.

In the PAF, doctrines development was ascribed to the Office of Special

Studies (OSS). The OSS was officially created on 07 May 1976, as a Special Staff to
the Commanding General, PAF. This office was under the supervision of the Assistant
Chief of Air Staff for Plans (OA-5). However, it was deactivated on 01 February 1987
with its functions and tasks were absorbed by OA-5. The activation of the Office of
Strategic and Special Studies, GHQ triggered the reactivation of OSS, PAF on 24
February 1994 as a Personal Staff of CG, PAF.
The current PAF doctrine development efforts need more focus and
improvement both in terms of meeting the required number of operational and
tactical doctrines and more importantly, in intrinsic qualities and values of the
published doctrines. Most of these published doctrines were not subjected to
necessary testing and evaluation and eventual application. Some have been relegated
to the shelves and never had the opportunity to be read and applied by those

It is therefore necessary to conduct an inquiry to find out how the PAF

Doctrine Process is being implemented and to trace out problems affecting its
implementation. Doctrine awareness is severely lacking in the whole PAF
organization and it adversely affects the doctrine development in the PAF. The PAF
doctrine represents the summit of PAF thinking about the best ways to use air power.
It is the PAF theory of how the air force can effectively contribute to national
objectives. As such, it deserves the best intellectual efforts and utmost attention by
every member of the Command.


Doctrines development is an indispensable component of the PAF

Modernization Program and the PAF force development. The PAF must ensure the
continuous cycle of doctrine development. It is not just a matter of producing the
required doctrines but continuously updating these to keep them responsive.
Doctrine development is a large task. Locating, accessing, consolidating, and
analyzing all the pertinent data is a very large undertaking – as is the process of
developing concepts and testing them. When the doctrines have been validated, they
must be properly disseminated to the officers and personnel concerned, another
massive undertaking which entails the entire system of military education. Another
implication of the doctrine development process is one of continuous change in the
basis for doctrine, i.e. experience, technology and theory. The fast technological
changes and new ideas confront us nearly on a daily basis. Every new experience can
have a profound impact to the existing doctrines. It is therefore imperative that the
doctrine process must have an effective means of both generating and evaluating air
power concepts from the constantly changing experience-theory-technology base.

The success of the PAF depends more on mental than physical capabilities.
People with greater mental acuity can outsmart even the most sophisticated military
establishment. As a major component of the PAF Modernization, doctrines
development will be a dynamic force multiplier. As mentioned earlier, the PAF
doctrine represents the apex of PAF thinking about the best ways to use air power
and how to effectively contribute to the attainment of national goals and objectives
and thus deserves utmost attention.


HPAF Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Nr 16 dated 07 December 1995

was the first document issued pertaining to doctrine development in the PAF. It
established policies and procedures governing the development and revisions of PAF
doctrines. Under this SOP, changes affecting doctrinal application can rise from
changes in government policies, technological developments, intelligence
assessments, policy reviews, commander’s proposals and new limits in funding,
personnel and other related resources. Development of new doctrines, review of
existing doctrines and revision of any section of PAF Manuals may be suggested by
any PAF Command, unit or member and will be processed through the chain of
command to the Doctrines board level. The CG, PAF reserves the right to veto the
proposed doctrines recommended by the PAF Doctrines Board (PDB). A review of this
SOP was made in the first quarter of year 2001 and as a result, HPAF SOP Nr 03 dated
10 July 2001 was issued replacing the HPAF SOP Nr 16. The provisions are similar but
with additional policies, procedures and components. On 05 April 2001, a CG, PAF
letter directive was issued to all PAF units and Staff offices regarding the submission
of a monthly report on Doctrines Development and Implementation. The aim was to
further enhance attention to doctrines development and awareness at all levels of
command. To date, there are only a few PAF units regularly complying with this
directive. Indeed, most of the reports received were not substantial and were
reflective on the lack of emphasis, attention and support to the PAF doctrines
development in both the PAF units and HPAF Staff. Moreover, a survey reveals that
some PAF officers specifically those who have not been assigned at HPAF are not
knowledgeable of existing policies, procedures and guidelines on doctrines
development in the PAF.

Shown below is a survey that reflects the perception of the respondents on

the effectiveness of existing policies, procedures and guidelines on doctrines
development in the PAF.

Table 1. Perceptions of the Respondents on the Effectiveness of the PAF Doctrine


5 4 3 2 1
F fw F Fw F Fw F Fw F Fw Total WM Interpretation
PAF 7 35 19 76 33 99 6 12 0 0 222 3.42 FAIRLY



On the basis of data presented below, it is evident that lack of attention,

emphasis and support to doctrine development by commanders, heads of offices as
well as officers and men was the primary factor or problem affecting the doctrine
development process in the PAF. This was followed by lack of expertise as a result of
inadequate number of dedicated writers and researchers with the capability of
managing doctrines development.
Table 2. Perceptions of the Respondents on Factors or Problems Affecting the PAF
Doctrine Process


No adequate attention, emphasis and support have
been placed on the doctrine process (to include
formulation and development of doctrines and 45 69.23 1
doctrine education)
Lack of adequate funds 28 43.08 3
Lack of adequate facilities 14 21.54 4
Lack adequate expertise (researchers and writers) 32 49.23 2

Table 3 shows the perceptions of the respondents on the adequacy of

attention, emphasis and support given to doctrines development. This pertains to the
degree of attention, emphasis and support as provided by commanders, head of
offices including the officers and men under various PAF units and offices. The
commander or head of office is considered however as a key factor in doctrines
development due to the hierarchical nature of military organization. Given the data
below, it may mean doctrine development is not given that much importance in terms
of priorities as compared with other concerns of the units. It may also mean that the
unit’s operation or performance of functions respectively is not doctrine based.
Moreover, this may also be an indication of low-level doctrine awareness in the PAF.

Table 3. Perceptions of the Respondents on the Attention, Emphasis and Support

given to the PAF Doctrine Process
5 4 3 2 1
PAF F f F f F f F f F f Tot WM Interpretation
w w w w w al

Developm SLIGHT
8 4 3 4 6 2.44
Process 4 1 9 4 8 6 159
0 6 8

The recommended solutions of the respondents to improve the PAF doctrine

development process are reflected in Table 4 below. The writer enumerated potential
solutions based on related literature and studies for the respondents to consider. The
establishment of a full time doctrine center with a pool of doctrine researchers and
writers, the conduct of an intensified doctrine awareness campaign program, the
allocation of funds for doctrines development, the masteral and other advance
learning for doctrine officers, and the recruitment of qualified researchers were the
choices made available to the respondents. As depicted below, 49.23% of the
respondents believed that there is a need for a PAF Doctrine Center with adequate
funds, facilities and expertise to work on full time basis.
Table 4. Recommendations of the Respondents on the Solutions to the Problems
Encountered in the Implementation of the PAF Doctrine Process
Establishment of a PAF Doctrine Center with a
pool of doctrine researchers and writers which
will cater to doctrines development on full 32 49.23 1
time basis
The conduct of an intensified doctrine 23 35.38 2
awareness program in the PAF
Program adequate funds for doctrine 19 29.23 4
Send selected officers to masteral and other
advance studies to prepare them for doctrine
development activities 16 24.62 5

Recruit qualified civilian researchers/writers 21 32.31 3

The OSS as the doctrine center of the PAF must be reviewed in the context on
the importance of doctrines development as an indispensable pillar in the
modernization program and as a major concern of the Command considering its
impact to the efficiency and effectiveness of the PAF. In the Unit Manning Document
(UMD) dated 30 March 2001, the OSS serves as a Personal Staff of the Commanding
General, PAF that assists and advises him on the formulation of PAF doctrines and
conduct of studies on air power and strategic and special projects of the Command.
Likewise, the UMD prescribes the authorized number of personnel wherein the
present manpower fill-up of OSS is only 40% manned based on the current UMD.

On resources, the OSS receives a quarterly budget of PHP 188,387. It must be

noted that OSS performs multifarious functions and tasks other than doctrine
development. The cost of developing one tactical doctrine to include publication and
dissemination, notwithstanding the cost of educating the force would definitely be
more than the quarterly budget allocated to doctrines development.


The existing policy guidelines and procedures on the development of doctrines

in the PAF are fairly effective and thus, needs review and revision. Most officers are
not fully aware of the existing guidelines and procedures of the PAF doctrines
development. Likewise, the lack of adequate attention, emphasis and support to
doctrine development process is the main problem that affects the implementation of
the doctrine process and the development of doctrines in the PAF. Priorities are not
set in proper place in the formulation of doctrines among various PAF units. There is a
slight attention, emphasis and support placed on the doctrine process by all
concerned. The lack of adequate funds and facilities as well as lack of adequate
expertise adversely affect the implementation of the PAF doctrine process and the
consequent development of useful and dynamic doctrines that could make the PAF an
efficient and effective organization. Hence, there is a need to review and revise policy
guidelines and procedures to improve PAF doctrine process and the development of
doctrines in the PAF. Among others, the establishment of a PAF Doctrine Center and
an intensified doctrine awareness programneed to be implemented.


1. OSS, HPAF to initiate a review of the HPAF SOP Nr 03, Subject: PAF Doctrine
Process, with objective of revising the current approach to doctrine development. The
review should focus on mechanisms to improve the process such as incorporating
provisions on educating the force on doctrines and ensuring that these doctrines are
being applied. The process should not end with the publication of the doctrine. The
end state should be a dynamic, coherent and systematized intellectual process and
not just a bureaucratic compliance. A doctrine development strategy should be
formulated along with the revision of the SOP.

2. OSS, HPAF to prepare a Letter Directive to be signed by the CG, PAF

addressed to all PAF units and offices requiring all personnel to be fully aware of
existing PAF doctrines, to make use of these doctrines as guides to all operations and
activities, and to continuously develop these existing doctrines and formulate new
ones when necessary. In line with this, all units and offices will be required to
program funds for doctrine development. Doctrine development topics must be
included in the agenda of regular meetings and conferences at all levels. Troop
Information and Education Program (TI & E) should include the dissemination of
dissemination of doctrines and must emphasize the importance of doctrines in the
efficiency and effectiveness of the organization. The subject of doctrine development
should be included and be emphasized in all career courses and trainings. All units
and offices shall be required to comply with the PAF Letter Directive dated 05 April
2001, on the submission of a monthly Doctrines Development and Implementation

3. OSS, HPAF to conduct a comprehensive study on the establishment of a PAF

Doctrine Center that will function as its operating arm in doctrines development. The
on-going effort of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) to establish an Air
Power Institute (API) could be a starting point. The doctrine center should be a
separate unit under the direct control of the CG, PAF and under the functional
supervision of the Director, OSS. It must have a robust means of both generating and
evaluating air power concepts from the constantly changing experience-theory-
technology base. This requirement implies the involvement of many more qualified
personnel than the limited number at the OSS or those people at the PAF units and
offices who handle bureaucratic doctrinal chores as an additional duty. It must also
be suitably equipped as a research and analysis center. Its location should be in a
serene environment, as every step in the process of doctrine development requires
quiet, concentrated study and attention over prolonged periods. The doctrine center
shall become the repository of all PAF operating manuals, policies and procedures,
and after operation reports from all PAF units and offices.

4. A-8 in coordination with A-1 to program masteral and other advance learning
on the broad and specific streams to a core of personnel projected to be assigned
with the proposed Doctrine Center or to be designated as Doctrine Officer. Broad
doctrine education and training could include one or combination of the following:
a. Strategic Planning Course

b. Masters in Operations Research

c. Military History

d. Masters in Public Administration

e. Masters in Business Administration

Among others, the specialist stream for doctrine development may include
Human Resource Development, Logistics Management, Military Technology, Project
Management and Technology Management. These personnel shall be primarily
responsible for doctrine development of the Philippine Air Force.

5. OSS, HPAF to prepare a comprehensive program for intensified doctrine

awareness campaign in the PAF. This may include the production of Video CD
presentations of the PAF Air Power Manual, PAF Basic Doctrine and the PAF
Operational, Tactical Doctrines, and the National Military Strategy. Personnel of the
OSS/Interim Doctrine Center shall develop a schedule and conduct the lectures and
presentations up to the Wing level.

6. A-1 in coordination with OSS to spot, recruit and develop qualified civilian
researchers and writers. Networking with educational institutions and research
centers would facilitate this effort. There are nine available slots for civilian
employees at OSS, HPAF
Reassessing the Philippine Air Force:
A Doctrinal Perspective
By Major Noel L. Patajo PAF

LT GEN BENJAMIN P DEFENSOR JR, AFP, Commanding General, PAF, stated

the essence of the Air Force Anniversary through the lens of doctrine of air power. He
said, several of the world’s great Air Forces, including the US Air Force, gained their
independence from surface forces in order to move effectively and carry out the so-
called independent missions-the most being strategic attack. General Defensor
added that the PAF was organized as an “Air Defense Air Force” after World War II,
whose mission is to conduct prompt and sustained air defense mission in the defense
of the Philippines.

Since it became an independent Major Service, the formative years of the PAF
began as the whole world also began to realign into bi-polar community. Within the
Armed Forces of the Philippines, the PAF represents the revolutionized science of
war-military air power. For a developing country, the Philippines adopted the
conventional air force organization patterned after the modification of the American
lessons learned during the war. For half a century, the PAF existed in a paradigm of a
conventional air force yet utilized as a support unit to a constabulary force, that is the
AFP. The AFP, the PAF in particular, are essentially defense essentials of a
democratic country against the communists. Currently, the AFP is still mandated by
law to defend the national territory against foreign invaders and the PAF as the
primary air defense unit tasked to meet the enemy as far as possible away from the
Philippine territory.

Traditionally, anniversaries allow the unit to conduct organizational review of

its achievements and set directions for the future. Countless time, the PAF coined
phrases and motto to encapsulate the ideals of the past year and chart its future.
This essay, however, intends to look into the Air Force past from the doctrinal
perspective and in the process argue that the PAF is not a pure conventional air
force-good for air defense against invaders but as a constabulary air force-relevant to
the emerging need of the changing security environment. The essay maybe a
suggestion to operationalize the First Force Strategy.

Air Corps

The first Filipino military pilot, LT Leoncio Malinao, flew the JN-4 over the
fields of Pasay and Cavite in 1920 thus heralding the birth of the Filipino airman.1 By
the end of that year, another 25 military pilots led by Lt Porfirio E. Zablan will
graduate from the Philippines first aviation school-Curtiss Aeroplane & Motor
Corporation. On January 1, 1935 the Philippine Legislature passed Act 4194 formally
creating an aviation unit for the Philippine Constabulary that was tasked to assist the
Philippine Constabulary in maintaining peace and order and the government in
performing such civilian work as customs duty and aerial pest control.

Later in 1935, the Philippine Constabulary Air Corps (PCAC) with its two
wings-tactical and service was placed under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Army
Air Corp (PAAC). During the World War II, General Douglas McArthur inducted the
PAAC into the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) and turned over
fourteen P-26 Peashooters and three B-10 bombers.2 The Japanese began its attack
of the Philippines with planes and the PAAC proved its mettle against odds. The air
action over Batangas proved to be the only recorded air-to-air combat experience of
the Filipino airman. The defeat of the Filipino airmen and the destruction of the
USAFFE air corps paved the way for the wholesale defeat of the ground defenders.

“Air Defense Air Force”

The Second World War proved that the Air Force is capable of completely
independent action in its own element and far beyond the range of land and sea
forces.3 Consequently, the military thought after the world war favored the strategic
strike option that an air force offered. Corollary, the early air power theorist idea
that control of the air is a requirement to be achieved before any further operation in
all mediums can start created an air force organization that favors the fighter unit-
pursuit unit according to Gen Billy Mitchell, over other air force elements.

For the PAF, the 5 Fighter Wing became the lead unit of the PAF. Since then,
the quality of the air assets in the 5 Fighter Wing became the barometer of the
quality of the whole PAF. The air defense mission of the 5 Fighter Wing along with
the radar and warning control became the vital cogs of the Philippine Air Defense
Systems. In turn, the quality of the air defense system determines the ability of the
AFP to conduct a respectable defense of the national territory if the proposition that
whoever controls the air controls the surface will be true.

“Close Air Support Air Force”

Since the end of the cold war between the United States and the former Soviet
Union and their respective satellite states, more ethnic conflicts have erupted and
engulfed countries than ever before the Philippines has been no exception to ethnic
strife. The Christians and Moros in Mindanao have been at odds, sometimes at each
other’s throats, for centuries.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines considers the Mindanao conflict as a low
level conflict – hostile acts that are deliberately limited in scale or confined
geographically. Specifically, in accordance with modern lexicon of warfare, it is low
intensify conflict and sometimes called revolutionary or guerilla warfare. It is unique
that it directly targets the political – social structure of the country rather than its
Armed Forces.

“Close Air Support Air Force” is about air power employment in low intensity
conflict. Broadly, it may be viewed as air power application by a small air force in
support of the surface forces against insurgents and or conventional formations of

Aerial fire support for friendly surface forces has always been well understood
in the AFP, with Army and Navy commanders recognizing the significance of such air
support. The broad AFP concept for internal security operations is known as "Lambat
Bitag" operations series - Filipino words literally meaning Net and Snare involve the
prominent role of air elements as well as surface forces.

In the land environment, the air roles are Close Air Support (CAS) and
Battlefield Air Interdiction (BAI). CAS involves air attacks against the rebels in
contact with AFP forces. BAI involves air action against rebel forces (including supply
lines) which are in a position to directly affect the outcome of the land battle but
which are not in contact with friendly land forces. BAI aims to isolate the rebels in
the battlefield.

Combat Air Support operations play a major role in achieving immediate

control over tactical objectives. Terrain barriers reinforce the need for air support.
Primarily the PAF tactical wings conduct combat air support operations. Moreover,
then Composite Air Support Forces (CASAFs) and now renamed Tactical Operation
Group (TOG) in the deployment areas in coordination with deployed ground combat
forces are tasked to perform air support operations.

“Conventional Air Force”

The conventional air force advocated so far adheres to the air power structure
recommended in the PAF Air Power Manual. Despite claims that the PAF lacks the
doctrinal depth, the existing PAF organization, structure, doctrine and thoughts point
to a balance Air Force. For brevity, the air power structure contains the air strategy –
overall employment plan for air forces in war. The final air strategy product is the
combination of technology, manpower and doctrine.

The PAF also uses the concurrent campaigns such as air strike (strategic air
force), control of the air (air defense air force), and air support (close air support air
force). All three campaigns interlock to form the platform on which the Air Force (air
power) is based. Air operations, on the other hand, are integrated employment of air
power to achieve a specific campaign objective. There are many related air roles or
capabilities that an air force requires to exercise fully the potential of air power. A
small air force like the PAF will generally not have the capability to exercise all the
roles. It is strongly advocated that despite some of the non-mandatory air roles
stated in the generic air power structure, the PAF should strive to have the capacity
to perform such air roles when needed and part of ensuring it can is by having a
comprehensive basic air doctrine.

“Constabulary Air Force”

As stated earlier, the Philippine Constabulary Air Corps (PCAC) was intended
to perform support roles for peace and order operations. If we examine the PAF
history, since 1947, the PAF has been performing air support roles to the
constabulary role of the AFP. The threat of invasion, according to present planners,
will be very remote and that internal security operations will be the focus for the
years to come. As such, the “constabulary air force” will be revisited rather than the
“conventional air force”. With such assessment, the PAF through LtGen Defensor
correctly adopted the “First Force” Strategy: Force Projection, Information
Advantage, Rapid Response and Mobility, Strategic Impact, Tactical Synergy, Force
Generation and support, Organizational brilliance, Research and applied innovation,
Control of stations and Empowered quality workforce.

The “constabulary air force” proposed herein is forwarded as part of

operationalizing the aforementioned First Force Strategy. The framework for the
“constabulary air force” contains the following sets of technologies: intelligence,
surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities; advanced command, control,
communication, computer, and intelligence tools; and precision strike munitions. In
reference to the air power structure, the figure will show the model for the
“constabulary air force”

Figure 1 “Constabulary Air Force” Framework

Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) in the law enforcement

mode, air operations will have the synergy of machines and technology with the
human component. The air power strengths of speed allows the Air Force to be in the
vicinity of security concern first ahead of ground troops, its range coupled with speed
allows the PAF to cover far wider area in shorter time. The Maritime Surveillance
afforded by Long Range Patrol Aircraft will also deal with EEZ concern as well as
transnational crimes threats.

Command, Control, Communication and Information (C3I) The PAF advocates

freedom of action from the surface forces. This will be difficult to achieved with the
present technology available at the moment. At most, the PAF will be providing
information to surface forces that still possess the “permanence” the aircraft do not
have. Wholesale, this part allows the PAF to provide the Commanders essential
knowledge. In essence, the PAF will the core means to harness knowledge since it
has no limiting boundaries and it can serve as the link between ground and other
surface forces. With affordable technology, information will be communicated to the
proper command and control facility to generate knowledge essential for the decision
Precision Munitions the most appreciated role of the PAF is its ability to
provide the lethality needed by surface forces. When synergy is present and proper
decisions are made to enforce laws by force, suitable for organized armed resistance
such as organized crime, kidnap for ransom groups, other lawless element precision
munitions delivered by the PAF can prepare the condition of the conflict area
favorable for the surface force. Precision munitions will allow the PAF to engage
targets without much worry for collateral damage to civilians and non-combatants.

The Way Ahead

The AFP is currently reviewing its basic doctrine-with it, the Major Services
are also reviewing their basic doctrine. For a long time, the AFP has been organized
as a conventional force mandated by law for territorial defense. The concerns of the
AFP for several decades concern the communist movement and secessionism and
lately organized crime groups like the Pentagon and Abu Sayyaf. The President had
tasked the AFP to look into its doctrine and perhaps the AFP by accepting the fact
that the bulk of its concern is constabulary in character, the proper doctrine should
be semi-conventional AFP that can shift its organization and force structure to
conventional nature while continuously performing “constabulary” role.

The Air Force, on the other hand, should seek to achieve the ability to win
wars by air power alone – more relevant in the current nexus of security and law
enforcement will be to achieve “constabulary” effectiveness through its air power.
The small air force, to be relevant, should be able to strike when needed with
lethality and precision if the information it relayed became essential knowledge for
the decision makers.
distinguished graduate of the Aviation Cadet Program Class 1970A
from the Philippine Air Force Flying School. An energetic “fighter
jock”, he flew the jets of Basa Air Base as a pilot trainee, element
leader, flight instructor and flight commander, among others,
aside from also flying the Hueys of the Philippine Air Force.

GEN SIGAYA is a graduate of different courses both local

and abroad. He has the distinction of being one of the six Filipino
pilots who were trained to fly the F-8H Crusader in Dallas, Texas,
USA. He took up his Masters in National Security Administration at
the National Defense College of the Philippines.

GEN SIGAYA has held various key positions. What paved his way to his
present designation as the Commander, Air Defense Command was his previous
assignment as the 530th CTW Commander during the campaign against the MILF and
the ABUSAYYAF in 2000 where the role of the Air Force during this campaign was
pivotal in the victory of the AFP.

Q As the Commander of the Air Defense Command, what do you think is the role
of your unit at the present time?

A As the “Defenders of the Philippine Skies” and our nation’s first line of
defense, the mission of the Air Defense Command is to defend, secure and protect the
territory of the Republic of the Philippines. Our mission and functions are specific,
whether it is today or tomorrow. We are mandated to provide active air defense;
conduct strategic strikes against enemy forces and installations; conduct combat air
patrol over Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Kalayaan Island Group (KIG); provide
air surveillance, air warning, aircraft control, communications network in support of
PAF Air Defense System; strategically deploy ground base air defense against enemy
air attack; provide air support to combat forces in maritime environment; monitor air
and surface traffic on territorial airspace, EEZ & KIG; and perform other functions as
directed by higher headquarters. Unless these mission and functions are changed, our
role will still be the same.

To accomplish this mandated task of providing active air defense, the

Philippine Air Defense System (PADS) was established by the Air Defense Command
with two functions namely: Air Defense and Air Space Control:

1) The Air Defense function provides 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 and
destroy hostile aircraft as needed. The reactivation of the Air Defense Alert Center
(ADAC) at Clark Air Base after 11 years of inactivity at Basa Air Base has put more
teeth to our claim of the first line of defense.

2) Airspace Control or Air Surveillance Management and

Control 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 object in assigned area of responsibility.
With the approval of the Air Traffic Management Group (ATCG) replacing the Direct
Air Support Force (DAFS), we foresee a better-professionalized service of our Air
Traffic Controllers (ATC). We see well-trained ATC personnel who will be able to
really man our country’s civilian air traffic in case of strikes by ATO controllers.

Q Can you share with us your vision of your unit or the Air Force as a major
branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines?

A I am an optimist. I see a modernized Philippine Air Force, as well as the Air

Defense Command. I am optimistic that we will expedite the procurement of the
multi-role fighters and radars because we know that the key to the future is still the
control- absolute control of the air. Given the nature of the fighter and surface-to-air
threat environment now proliferating in the region, it is imperative that we maintain
an AIR FORCE capable of meeting these treats.

The first and most important role for an air force is control of the air. With
control of the air, all other combat tasks whether on the ground or in the air, can be
expected to go much smoother. I foresee important transformation in our Air Force
Organization depending on what is required by our national interest and national

The overall organization development of the Philippine Air Force will put more
particular emphasis on key principles of joint operations and interoperability
along this line- Command and Control have to be well defined at GHQ down to the
lower units. We should continue to seek new and innovative application to
increase our defense capability in the context of constraint of resource outlook.
We will rely more on high level of competence and professionalism of the men
and women of the PAF. I foresee a PAF that is able to respond quickly to short-
notice tasks because of its preparedness. Our levels of readiness for key response
forces- like Air Defense, Intelligence, Maritime Surveillance, Maritime Patrol, and
ready- reactions ground forces should be increased as we continue to understand
better the demands of the defense of the country in a short- warning conflict.

Q What can you say about the present capabilities of the Air Force in terms of
preparedness in dealing with both external and internal threats of the country?

A Providing for the defense of the Philippines is no easy task. We have a very
small and antiquated air defense forces. All of us know how many antiquated air
assets we have at present. We should learn from our past and the lessons of war
where Air Power plays an urban role in this defense.

The ability of the PAF to respond quickly to short-notice tasks rely much on its
preparedness. Our level of preparedness in external threats on some key response
forces like intelligence, air surveillance, maritime patrol, air defense and ready
reaction ground forces needs to be properly addressed and defined.

A PAF with very few antiquated air defense assets and radars, dealing with
external threats is a nightmare. Our preparedness in internal threats is adequate and
is a force to reckon with. Our equipment is older that the pilots flying them but are
still reliable and could still be depended upon. However, the urgency to upgrade our
capabilities is very relevant.
Q What is your concept of an ideal Air Defense System for the Philippines?

A An ideal Air Defense System for our country should be able to apply a strategy
of defense-in-depth. Defense-in-depth requires coordinated, flexible and measured
application of defense capabilities. In conflict, our air defense system would be able
to terminate the conflict or threat promptly and prevent its escalation. Defense-in-
depth exploits our geography by aiming to keep an adversary at arms length and
make any operations inside our PADIZ more difficult for an aggressor. The ability to
defend our territory will greatly reduce the prospect of a successful attack in the
Republic of the Philippines.

This strategy of defense-in-depth will require an Air Force structure that can:

1) Provide timely warning on any changes in our environment and

development in our region that may pose a threat to our country.

2) Exploit our strengths and overcome the vulnerabilities of our


3) Prevent or quickly nullify threats vital to our airspace, resources

and population center.

4) Sustain air operations over long distances and all weather

Thus, the PAF should give emphasis on Air Defense System that is clearly
focused on intelligence and surveillance operations using improved airborne
surveillance system and fixed mobile ground based radars and missiles. We must
have a highly mobile and capable air defense assets that can deal with hostilities
quickly on our terms. We need to ensure that an adversary is left under no
misapprehension about our ability to strike any intruder of our airspace. Given the
limitation of our resources, our ideal Air Defense System must have selective use
of advanced technology in areas such as command and control, information
transfer and integration, all weather day/night air operations and ability to
control and concentrate forces rapidly and precisely.

The Air Defense System should be able to integrate civil and military
surveillance and intelligence sources, including combat aircraft, mobile surface to air
missile systems with major surface combatant. Airborne Early Warning and Control
(AEW & C) aircraft would considerably enhance our Air Defense.

Q With the passage of the AFP Modernization Law in 1996, what is the prospect
improving the capability development of the Philippine Air Force?

A The defense of the Republic of the Philippines is a national responsibility; it is

our highest national priority. The Philippine Air Force is the First Line of Defense of
the country. Therefore, the key priority for capability development should be focused
on the Air Force. The passage of the AFP Modernization Law of 1996 gave us hope
that our capabilities to protect our airspace be given priority. It is no longer an
advocacy but an urgent call to be addressed to.

Q How do you see your role, your unit and the Philippine Air Force in the future?
A The PAF should be modernized, highly competent and professional, able to
respond to the new and more complex environment of the future. I see an Air
Force more involved in the promotion of regional peace and stability. Along this
line, the Air Defense Command will play a vital role in the defense of our country.

Q Sir, can you relate to us your personal and professional circumstances, before
achieving this rank and position? Your philosophy in life?

A If you do your job well, if you live a simple and honest life, if you do your job
professionally you will achieve what you want, cause in this world “nothing is
impossible” we can do it.

Ever since I took command of my first wing, I laid down my guiding principles,

which I wanted my men to follow. I coined the acronym “UNITY” which means:

U – for unwavering loyalty to the chain of command

N – networking

I – integrity, initiative, innovative

T – teamwork and transparency

Y – your morale and welfare (refers to our men)


In Support of the Force Ahead of Its Time
The Philippine Air Force, the dominant force in the Philippine skies, is
technically the first force in the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Hence, it being
tagged as “First to respond…First to deliver…Proud to Serve…” is undoubtedly
justifiable. It is in the light of the noblest visions of this Command that the Office of
Special Studies exerts all its efforts to provide the PAF the foresight for the defense
of the future skies, the hindsight from which lessons from the past are relearned, and
the extended arms ever ready to respond to the doctrinal concerns of the present
time. Being a personal staff of the CG, PAF, the OSS functions to assist and advise the
CG, PAF on the formulation of PAF doctrines and conduct of studies on air power,
strategic and special projects of the Command.

In support of the force ahead of its time, OSS has initiated the formulation of
the PAF Doctrines Development Matrix and has implemented the Presidential Policy
Guidance of creating the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) Office in the Philippine
Air Force. These, among other accomplishments, have enhanced PAF’s vision of the
future by drawing out the doctrines that will decide the outcome of future conflicts
and by determining factors that will give the PAF the winning edge in fighting these

With the unfolding of the future warfare, the OSS has initiated the clearing of
the skies of the future Philippine Air Force.


Ian MacFarling defined doctrine as the fundamental principles by which

military forces guide their actions in support of national objectives. It is not
immutable and it needs to be regularly reviewed in the light of developments in
history, theory and technology. If it is not regularly compared with these changes,
doctrine can become dogma and is of little value to the people who must use it.

The AFP Modernization Act, RA 7898, recognizes the importance of doctrines

and the need for continuous review, formulation, evaluation, and validation to guide
the actions of the members of the AFP in performance of their mandated missions
and in support of the national objectives towards peace, stability and development in
the country.

The PAF has never taken this undertaking lightly. In its intention to maintain
its efficiency in rendering service to the people, one of its concerns is to have sound
doctrines guiding its personnel. Prior to its publication, a doctrine has to undergo
several phases of research and formulation, test and evaluation, and validation and
revision before it is submitted for CG, PAF’s approval. The process must be
continuous due to the changing technology, policies, organizational set-up, and other
aspects affecting its effectiveness and efficiency. The bodies concerned in
deliberating PAF doctrines are the PAF Doctrines Study Group (PDSG) headed by the
Director, OSS and PAF Doctrines Board (PDB) headed by the PAF Vice Commander.

Just recently, OSS sponsored the PAF Doctrines Family Conference and Workshop
CY- 2002, which was participated by the Director for Operations of the Functional
Commands, the Commanding Officer of Air Power Institute, Doctrine Officers of
different PAF units, and representatives from GHQ and other branches of service.
It was purposely held to layout a solid foundation of the PAF doctrines
development program consistent with the PAF Modernization Program for the
effective and efficient development of the respective doctrines of the PAF
Functional Commands. The objectives of the said conference and workshop are to
revitalize networking among doctrine officers, to layout plans for a strategic
doctrine development program for PAF, and to enhance the awareness and
update on doctrine development in the AFP. The key inputs of the workshops are
the AFP Modernization Program, Existing AFP Defense Policies, CG, PAF First
Force Strategy and SOP #03.

The approved outcome of the conference and workshop were distributed to

the Functional Commands of the PAF to guide them in their units’ doctrine
development. Copies and pertinent output will be forwarded to the Air Power
Institute (API), which is envisioned to be the PAF research center and tasked to
develop the PAF Doctrines.

One significant output of the PAF Doctrines Family Conference and Workshop
is the PAF Doctrine Development Matrix, which aims to encourage the maximum
participation of different PAF units in the formulation of different operational and
tactical doctrines. The matrix is based on the AFP Modernization Program, of which
Doctrine Development is one of its pillars. Presently, it serves as the basis for the
doctrine development and programming of the staff concerned together with the
other requirements in the PAF.


As has been always said, change is the only thing constant in this world; what
is essential today may not matter tomorrow. Even in the conduct of warfare, changes
are inevitable when new executions of military operations are introduced due to new
technologies, doctrines, and concepts. This is termed as Revolution in Military Affairs,
which according to Andrew Marshall, is a major change in the nature of warfare
brought about by the innovative application of new technologies which when
combined with dramatic changes in military doctrine and operational and
organizational concepts, fundamentally alters the character and conduct of military

Based on the Presidential Policy Guidance during the 66 th AFP Anniversary on

21 December 2001 to create RMA Division under the Office of Strategic and Special
Studies (OSSS) at GHQ and within its equivalent units under the Major Services, the
RMA Branch was activated in the Philippine Air Force under the Office of Special
Studies, HPAF.
Figure 1. The new Organizational Chart of OSS

The RMA Branch is envisioned to undertake researches and studies on the

major changes in the nature of warfare as influenced by new technologies, doctrines,
and operational and organizational concepts. It will also undertake research and
development to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of the utilization of the
present capabilities of the PAF and to determine the right technology for the PAF.
Furthermore, Information Technology will be extensively exploited to study relevant
concepts, methods, principles, techniques and technologies applicable in the conduct
of PAF operations.

The recent change in the organizational set-up of the OSS is not the first time.
The advent of developments in the military environment and the demand for a
responding PAF supported by sound doctrines triggered these changes, changes that
will keep the PAF at par with the other Air Forces in spite of our technological set


After Activity Report on the PAF Doctrines Family Conference and Workshop CY 2002,
OSS, HPAF. Col Villamor Air Base, Pasay City

Master Plan CY 2002, OSS, HPAF. Col Villamor Air Base, Pasay City

UMD CY 2002, OSS, HPAF. Col Villamor Air Base, Pasay City