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Vol 2, No 3
Victory Through Vigilance

The Air Force is now under a wholly new leadership, with a new Commanding
General in Lt Gen Nestor R Santillan AFP, a new Chief of Air Staff in Col Jaime M Viernes
PAF, and soon a new Vice Commander. With the top three positions in new hands, it is
expected that the whole Air Force is now going to face a new direction in keeping with the
requirements of the Commander in Chief of the entire Armed Forces.

The priority program of the new PAF Leadership is aircraft recovery. In all
command activities, and indeed in everything the PAF now does, aircraft recovery has
become the focal activity in line with the Commanding General’s new command directive.
As the Service that files and fights, it behooves the Air Force to keep all of its supportable
air assets operationally ready at all times. Judicious maximation of our air assets is what
will allow us to keep flying and fighting, as the CG, PAF himself has often stated.

A vital part of our operations consists of aerial surveillance. Intelligence is vital in

order to maintain our edge in flying and fighting, and for all AFP operations in general.
With our aerial surveillance missions, the entire AFP is able to get a bigger picture not
only of terrain and fluvial territories in key areas of operation, but we are able to provide
this kind of detailed intelligence with minimal risk, as the enemy cannot reach our
surveillance aircraft like they normally could with ground-based operatives.

If we are to keep providing this kind of information so vital to our overall

operations as an armed service, we must always be cognizant not merely about the
deployment of our aircraft, but also their proper maintenance. Aircraft that is grounded is
useless to us, which is why we must be able to get all of our supportable aircraft up and
flying and operationally ready at all times. And as vital as our firepower and tactical
transport aircraft are to our war fighting capability, our surveillance aircraft are equally
important. Without our surveillance aircraft we will be hampered in terms of proper
deployment for full mission effectiveness. To be fully effective as an air force we must
have all of our air assets up and flying and at the ready at all times. It is through this
vigilance that we will continue to be victorious.
Up And Skyward
There is a new direction for the Air Force, a new spirit
that is built upon the achievements of the PAF in the past two
years. As much as we have succeeded, we look forward to
meeting the new and greater challenges of the future. We
have already proven our mettle in the field of battle, in saving
lives, in being a positive force for sustainable development,
even in athletic competitions. We are now looking to build
upon our success by seeking an even higher standard, by
moving onward, forward and skyward.

One of our foremost concerns is a more active pursuit of the doctrinal

renewal for our PAF Basic Doctrine. Our Air Power Institute is working closely with our
Office of Special Studies in completing this vital undertaking. In line with the call by the
Commander-in-Chief for the development of a more responsive and stronger doctrinal
foundation for the entire Armed Forces, the PAF is fast tracking its own doctrinal renewal
initiatives under my Command.

In other concerns, we are also expediting in-house efforts in pursuit of PAF

Modernization. As we are well aware of the limited resources available, the PAF is
redirecting its modernization program towards making key acquisitions and undertaking
key upgrades- both in human resource and material development- for a more flexible
service, in order to address the multiple requirements not only of the Service or the AFP,
but more so to respond more effectively and more swiftly to the needs of the overall
developmental program of the national government, as is often expounded by the Chief

This is the greatest contribution of the PAF in realizing the vision of a strong
republic, as expresses in the last State of the Nation Address. As the PAF continues to
make itself better, to improve its performance, to build upon its success, we are inspired
by no less than the desire to become the Air Force of the People. We are looking to be
more powerful in combat, to be swifter in saving lives, to maintain our lead in service to
people and country. This is our new quest, for as successful as we are, we have only
begun to take off, and to soar: Up and Skyward.


Commanding General, PAF

The Air Surveillance Challenge

Since the enactment of R.A. 7898, which is better known as the AFP Modernization
Law, the Philippine Air Force had to deal with organizational restructuring and struggle for
resources. this has been the case since the other Major Services of the AFP are also
competing with the PAF for a larger share of the Modernization Pie. As Archie D Barret of
the National Defence University in Washington said:

The defense establishment discloses a structure in fundamental disarray. it

comprised various elements that compounded the mixtures of functions and tasks. That
complex however, is not unified, cohesive institution dedicated to the national security.
Rather, it is confederation of domains, each struggling to preserve and enlarge it. They
battle each other over concepts, responsibilities, and weaponry and most of all money.
The intense conflicts were not debates over how best to defend the nation, but deadly
feuds that sap military strength.

Nonetheless, the PAF is trying to detach itself from the foregoing predicament, as the
air force becomes a more committed and competent organization with the AFP through
the professionalization of its personnel. And indeed, the intelligence community of the
PAF has witnessed these changes. However, changes in attitude of its manpower may
seem not enough. The PAF still needs to upgrade its capabilities most especially in the
field of air intelligence considering that this is the only domain of the PAF that seems to be
untouched by the reversion to internal security operation ceoncerns.

The Need to Fast Track

The Chinese Philosopher Sun Tzu noted that "In joining battle, seek the quick victory.
If battle is protracted, your weapons will be blunted and your troops demoralized, even
more you exhausted your strength that your national reserves will not suffice, the
neighboring rules will take advantage of your adversity to strike. And even with the wisest
counsel, you will not be able to turn the ensuing consequences to the good." Let's
recollect on the structures in the Spratlys, the illegal fishing in the North and the
abduction in Dos Palmas. Do I need to write more?

Though we believe that, ultimately, the country must make the investment in an Air
Surveillance vehicle as stated in PAF's Modernization priority list, to project a credible Air
Power. The procurement of the air surveillance assets would surely generate revenue for
our government as it starts looking down from the heavens - an investment that has no
other way but up.

The Best Choice

Air Surveillance is an inherent challenge being distinctively performed by the 300 Air
Intelligence Security Group through the 3003 Air Reconnaissance Squadron, which
consequently desires to enhance a core competence adept to its men and women. In the
advent of the realization of acquiring the much-needed platform to suit this Unit becomes
an unwavering potential choice to fulfill the sensitivities of information collection. The
dedication of the aerial platform would significantly lengthen its existence.

The Modernization Program for the

Philippine Air Force (PAF) has shifted its priority
focus from aircraft procurement to repair,
maintenance and upgrading of its existing
inventory of all aircraft due to financial constraints.
Aircraft can only continue to fly with regular
maintenance. Thus there are different levels of
maintenance specific to the kind of aircraft
problem. One of the levels of maintenance is the
Depot Level Maintenance (DLM), which is handled
by the 410 Maintenance Wing (MW).

The 410 MW is envisioned at the
development of its DLM capabilities and the
expansion of its coverage to serve the major
islands of the country.

It also aims to develop a single facility for DLM for all aircraft including repair and
overhaul of engines and other major components.

In this regard, several projects and researches were undertaken to assess the
maintenance capabilities of the 410 MW. One among these studies and the most recent
was Marfori (1997) wherein he concluded “prospects for the 410 MW are bright/positive,
with great military and economic impacts for the Philippine Air Force.” However, that was
four years back when the 410 MW was still at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City. Now that the
Wing has transferred to a new base of operation, things might have been different and that
such conclusion may or may no longer be true. Another point of consideration, aside from
said transfer, is the present economic crunch we are in now where the present
administration is so hard up in pursuing its policies and programs.

In view of this recent scenario and change in base of operation, it is possible that
somehow several changes may have occurred in the maintenance and repair capabilities
of the 410 MW.

Historically, 410 MW started from its humble beginning in 21 May 1945, where
from an original composition of only two (2) squadrons namely "The 1 Air Materiel
st st
Squadron and the 1 Engineering Squadron under the 1 Service group Philippine Army
Air Corps, it underwent a series of reorganization and redesignation. In October 1947, the
st rd
1 Air Group was absorbed by the PAF and renamed as 413 Air Repair Squadron and
th th
414 Air Supply Squadron and in 1952, 410 Air Materiel Wing was created. In 1975, during
th th
the activation of 55 Air Logistics Division 410 Air Materiel Wing was redesignated as
th th
410 Maintenance Wing, the "Home of the Restorers". From that time on, 410 MW was
able to render Aircraft Maintenance Services to all PAF flying units and was adjudged as
"Best AFP Maintenance Unit" for three (3) consecutive years from 1995, 1996 and 1997. In
1998, after the signing of RA 7277, otherwise known as the Bases Conversion Plan, 410
MW moved to its new location to where it is now at Clark Field, Pampanga.

This study is anchored on Bass’ (1990) contention that an evaluation or analysis of

a system, program or organization is necessary to provide data to the administrators for
the improvement, expansion or discontinuation of the present system or program. This
contention is further strengthened by Rustia’s (1990) Needs Assessment Theory which
stipulates that “there arises in the environment certain occurrences or developments that
could trigger off the need for change.” The conceptual framework envisions the concept
that the perceptions on the Philippine Air Force 410 Maintenance Wing serve as an
assessment of its current maintenance and repair capabilities. The “current states of
affairs” or status of the 410 MW is described in terms of its mission, vision and functions,
organizational structure, personnel components, and funding and more particularly, its
current maintenance and repair capabilities. Finally, implications for enhancement
advocacy will be explored and tackled for the 410 MW’s sustained development in their
maintenance capabilities.

Summary Table on the Respondents’ Perception of the 410 Maintenance Wing on its
Maintenance Capabilities


Interpretation X X Interpretation
1. Personnel 3.92 A/S 3.87 A/S 3.89 A/S
2. Maintenance 3.90 A/S 3.94 A/S 3.92 A/S
Methods and
3. Availability of 2.80 PA/MS 2.44 DA/A 2.62 PA/MS
Aircraft spare supply
4. Adequacy of 2.94 PA/MS 2.35 DA/U 2.64 PA/MS
facility, tools and
Weighted Average 3.39 PA/MS 3.15 PA/MS 3.27 PA/MS
Legend: X = Mean, A = Agree, PA = Partially Agree, DA = Disagree, S = Satisfactory, MS = Moderately Satisfactory, U
= Unsatisfactory

As shown on the Table above, the total weighted average of the Officers’
perceptions on the four categories of current maintenance capabilities of the 410 MW
was 3.39, which means “Agree” while the respondent Enlisted Personnel “Disagreed” as
manifested by the 3.15 mean, for a total overall mean of 3.27. Generally, therefore the
respondents only “Partially Agree” and consider the current maintenance capabilities of
the 410 MW as “Moderately Satisfactory”.

With the background knowledge of the 410 Maintenance Wing’s current
maintenance and repair capabilities of being moderately satisfactory in spite of certain
organizational and operational problems there is an urgent need for an enhancement or
continuing development advocacy if those concerned with the 410 MW’s wish to sustain
its maintenance and repair capabilities. Such advocacy for enhancement should be a
concerted effort of all those who make of the organization – the top echelon, the officers,
the enlisted men and even civilian personnel. Of course, the assistance and support of the
external environment coming from both legislative and executive branches of government
specially our President as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
is urgently in needed. In particular, our Commanding General, General Benjamin P
Defensor should take up the cudgels in presenting to the President, with the help of the
AFP Chief of Staff, General D. Villanueva and our Secretary of National Defense, Angelo T
Reyes, this urgent need of strengthening the maintenance and repair capabilities of the
PAF 410 Maintenance Wing. Indeed, this could be a tall order but, perhaps going into the
gist of this study, particularly the problems in maintenance and repair of aircraft, may
make them realize that without effective maintenance and repair, air defense will certainly
be weakened if not entirely incetile.

Internally, however, the problems strike the very heart of the 410 Maintenance
Wing which is its people- the officers and enlisted men who felt neglected in training, in
incentives or recognition for jobs well done and in being alienated from their families and
friends due to the transfer of the 410 Maintenance Wing in a far distance away from
home. There was this perception of lack of coordination with other units, which make
maintenance more difficult, and, of course, the personal pride of wing commanders for
higher hourly rate. All these findings affect the performance of the enlisted men and
officers of the 410 Maintenance Wing more than ever. Ultimately this may result to job

In the light of these somewhat critical situations, there is a need for some
approaches to enhancement advocacy so that the record of a 410 Maintenance Wing can
attain better and more sustained maintenance and repair capabilities.

Among these enhancement approaches as suggested by James Stones (1990) and

Philip Harris (1989) are:

1. Techno-Structural Approaches such as:

1.1 Job enlargement and

1.2 Job enrichment

2. Team Building Approach

The Techno-Structural Approach by James Stones

Job Enlargement

By this approach, dissatisfaction is tackled by

increasing job scope, through a system of job rotation,
so that workers in our case, our enlisted men in the
maintenance and repair shops, can move from one job
to a completely different one. By giving them the
opportunity to different skills, job rotation offers
challenge and motivation achievement. On both
instances, they are relieved of some of the monotony of
a restricted routine and work cycle.
Job Enrichment

Job enrichment tries to deal with dissatisfaction by increasing job depth. Work
activities from a vertical slice of the organizational unit are combined in one job so that
employees, in this case again our enlisted men experience greater job autonomy. They
may be given responsibility for setting their own workplace, for correcting their own errors
and/or deciding on the best way to perform a particular task. They may also make
decisions that affect their particular sub units. As work becomes more challenging and
worker responsibility increases, motivation and enthusiasm are increased.

Team Building Approach by Philip Harris

Among many group process opportunities for improving organizational

relationships, team building is among the most valuable. Team building is most effective
when it uses an internal or external consultant familiar with the process, although if
concerned manager who is a good facilitator can conduct such sessions with the help of
management development texts, instruments, and firms. Team building can improve team
relations among group members and improve intergroup relations among various teams
or work units. Team building meetings aim at group maintenance and consider such
performance issues as:

· How do we work together?

· How do we resolve conflict?

· How do we solve problems and make decisions?

· What are our roles and relationship on this team?

· What are our relationships with other groups?

· What changes are needed in how we function?

In our present case, the researcher proposes team-building approach to enhance

the internal capabilities of the officers and enlisted men of the 410 MW. Externally, this
approach may be applied to the other units of PAF that deal with the 410 MW to promote
coordination and in effect, improve organizational relationships.

Basically, the researcher proposes a Team Building Conference, with the following
mechanics covering five "W's" and one "H" to guide the implementers:

Who. Members of a work team or teams who must relate to each other and a facilitator
from outside.

What. A series of intensive learning experience about team structure, process, and

When. With the start-up of a team, when a group's performance level drops, or when the
group is having difficulties with other teams.

Where. Begin away from the work size, for instance at a conference center, or weekend
resort, continued with monthly meetings in an on-size company meeting room or training
Why. To improve team collaboration and performance by:

· Clarifying team expectations, goals, resources, and potential

· Analyzing interpersonal dynamics.

· Confronting and clarifying issues that block mission accomplishment.

· Examining team relations with other work units, or external groups

· Developing leadership skills in communication, cooperation, problem-

solving, and conflict resolution.

How. By structured exercises, role-playing, data gathering, and analysis as well as

problem solving, the group learns how to work together more efficiently and effectively.
Members are urged to:

· Be experimental - test our new styles of behavior, communication, participation, and


· Be authentic and open - tell it like it is and avoid game-playing while considering
other's viewpoints

· Be sensitive - express feelings while empathizing with others be attuned to nonverbal

cues and communication

· Be spontaneous and helpful - respond creatively to here and now data shared in the
group, warmly receiving people's revelations of themselves and sharing yourself while
assisting other members.

The team-building conference not only

develops meaningful relations among members,
but enables them to become more trusting and
congruent (comfortable with themselves and their
capacities). It is a challenge to participants to
revise their self-images and to actualize their
potential through personal and group change. The
learning experience aids members to gain control
over their own team space and to risk becoming
what they are capable of becoming. If a company
or agency does not have a competent facilitator
on its staff to conduct the team building, external
consultants in organization development or
transformation can be sought or resorted to.

In the light of the problems encountered and the current state of affairs of the 410
Maintenance Wing, which was voiced out during the Focus Groups Discussion, the need
for sustained enhancement advocacy is certainly a priority.

Thus, as suggested by two well-known management experts, whom the researcher

believed worth applying, the following approaches were considered, to wit:
1. Techno-Structural Approach specifically categorized as job enlargement and job
enrichment and

2. Team Building Approach, particularly the Team Building Conference.

In the light of the findings of this study, the following conclusions were drawn:

1. The current state of affairs of the 410 Maintenance Wing, PAF manifest
stability and readiness for change in the light of its vision, mission, functions,
organizational structure, personnel components and its maintenance and repair

2. The respondents of the study namely, the selected officers and enlisted
men of the 410 Maintenance Wing, perceived the current maintenance repair capabilities
of the said Wing as moderately satisfactory.

3. There was no significant difference in the perception of the two groups of

respondents with regard to the maintenance and repair capabilities of the 410
Maintenance Wing.

4. Problems encountered by the 410 Maintenance Wing in the course of its
operations ranged from fairly serious to serious where funding and its delay topped the
other problems like expensive spare parts and obsolete equipment and those related with
procurement, Nonetheless, the unspecified problem of change in location appeared to
have personally affected the men of the 410 MW.

5. The suggestion offered to solve the problems encountered ranged from

being "urgent to fairly urgent" foremost among which is the intensification of training and
schooling of the men of the 410 MW, the use of immediate release of funds with the strict
implementation of delayed delivery of spare parts. The rest involved passing out of
obsolete aircraft equipment and streamlining of the mw and updating policies and
doctrines on maintenance and repair.

6. The findings of the study implied the need for enhancement advocacy for
sustained development of the 410 MW through the application of techno-structural
approaches like job enlargement and job enrichment and the well-known team building
approach, which presupposes the utilization of a Team Building Conference.

On the other hand, the following

recommendations are advanced:

1. Funds allotted to the PAF,

particularly to the 410 MW for the
maintenance and repair of aircraft should be
increased and immediately released. In this
connection, it necessitates that the top
command of the Philippine Air Force do
more "hair pulling" and closer
communication with budgeting officials,
Congress and necessarily, the President of the Philippines as Commander-in-Chief of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines.
2. Anent to this strategy, there is an immediate need for strengthening and/or
revitalizing our information dissemination, through the creation of a directorate for
information and communications or designation of special group of officers who are
experts in communication and/or propaganda.

3. Specialized training and schooling of our officers and enlisted men in the
410 Maintenance Wing should be given special attention and priority now as it might be
too late when the need for them comes specially during times of uncertainties.

4. Bigger and better incentives, either material or monetary should be given

to officers and enlisted men for every job well done, without favoritism or any semblance
of cronyism.

5. The enhancement approach brought out, i.e., techno-structural approaches

in the form of job enlargement and job enrichment and the team building approach should
be tried, if only to give importance and care to our men in the 410 MW.

6. Those involved in the procurement of spare parts and equipment should

undergo strict internal auditing to avoid anomaly in the transactions. The Directorate for
Management and Evaluation in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff for
Comptrollership (A-6) could help in this regard.

7. Finally, as in most research of this kind, the researcher recommends the

expansion of the study to cover the organization and operations of the entire PAF
command and the interrelationship of the different Wings to achieve better coordinative
and cooperative action.


Harris, Philip R. “High Performance Leadership. Illinois: Scott Freeman and Co., 1990

Marfori, Rafael. “The 410 Maintenance Wing of the Philippine Air Force: States Problems and Prospects” MBA Thesis, Colegio
de San Juan de Letran Graduate School of Business Administration, March 1997.

Rustia, Antonio V. “A Technical Feasibility of Establishing Philippine Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Center.” MNSA Thesis,
National Defense College, Fort Bonifacio, 1990.

Stones, James. Management. New York: McGraw Hill Book Company, 1990.

Terrorism is a tactic or a means to an end. It can b employed during various modes

or levels of conflict in the furtherance of objectives or it can be used against nation states
to precipitate demise. Adding to this complexity is the tendency of the media to use the
word “terrorism” indiscriminately as a way of sensationalizing acts, which may not be
terrorism at all. The fact that many governments characterize terrorism as any and all acts
committed by political opponents to further distort perceptions.

Terrorism is defined as “the unlawful use of force or violence against individual or

property to ore or intimidate governments or societies, often to achieve political,
ideological, or religious objectives.”

Political goals of the terrorists may range from independence for certain
geographic areas, such as the aim of the Palestinian terrorists, of course, have their
special target – the elimination of the state in the geographic area now occupied by Israel.
Then there are the vast numbers of existing groups whose purpose is purely to sow terror
and establish a particular brand of enlightened leadership like the Al’Qaida network of
Osama Bin Laden, the Abu Sayyaf group of Janjalani, Abu Sabaya, et al.

Terrorists seek to do this by terrorizing the populace and, through repeated acts of
violence, to demonstrate the government’s inability to protect its citizens. The theory is
that the citizenry will pressure the government to restore order while the government,
fearing for its continued existence, will overact, suspending many basic rights and
freedom. The people, whose freedom has been so bridged, will then come to adopt the
terrorist’s view that the government is corrupt, repressive and impotent. The populace
should then rally to the terrorist’s cause, and rise up in revolt to demand a new form of
government and a new social order. That, at least, is the theoretical scenario.

The acts omitted by the terrorists are largely the same as those of the criminal.
Murder, kidnapping, arson, theft or robbery, hijacking, blackmail bombings and drug
trafficking are all common activities of terrorist groups. The vocabulary, however, may
differ a bit; of course, the intended effect of terrorist operations differs markedly. A
criminal homicide becomes a terrorist’s assassination. A criminal theft becomes a terrorist
expropriation. A bomb may have a more chilling effect because it is delivered in the mail
or is left in a crowded public place. A skyjacking and its subsequent smashed-up in high-
rise buildings like the September 11twin tower/Pentagon headquarters incident has a more
stunning impact when the area in which it may occur is almost unbelievably o happen.
Terrorist’s attack differs form
their criminal counterpart in three even
more significant respects. First, the
terrorist’s motivation is political rather
than personal gain; second, the terrorist
chooses hid target and his specific
modus operandi within an eye toward
affecting a wider audience than just the
immediate victims; and third, sine the
terrorist need needs publicity to enhance
his cause, he usually claims credit for
his acts. Terrorism is violence for effect,
rather than violence for its own sake or
for personal gain and, in an era of instantaneous worldwide communication, the news
media provide the terrorist with a ready forum in which to publicize his operations and

Terrorists usually seek to create a credible threat, effect mass destruction in so

doing; they undertake operations, which offer favorable odds in achieving a limited
tactical or symbolic success. To insure this sues, terrorists almost always attack “soft”
targets i.e. those with limited or no apparent security rather than well-defended ones.

Terrorism is no longer a phenomenon, which occasionally impacts on our lives – it

is increasingly a fact of life that must be dealt with by all of us on an everyday basis.


In order to assist security force in tracing crank/bomb threat phone calls:

 Be calm, listen, take down name of caller, date and time of all, and
number at which call is received
 Try to judge whether the call is local, long distance, from a pay
phone, cellular or from within the building
 Note voice characteristics, manner, and background signs
 Ask the caller questions, such as (1) when is the bomb set to
explode? (2) Where is it? (3) What does it look like? (4) What will
cause it to explode?


Generally, one of the most critical and dangerous stages of a terrorist kidnap or
hostage-taking operations is the actual seizure or abduction phase. Any sudden or
unexpected movement, noise or cry for help is likely to provoke a violent response from
the terrorist which could be fatal for the captive in a barricade hostage situation tension
will remain high until the terrorists feel sure they are in control.


Whether to resist capture or surrender to the kidnappers must remain a personal

decision. You should weigh the danger of resistance in the face of what may be
overwhelming odds. If you decide not to resist, assure the terrorists of your intention to
cooperate, especially during the abduction phase.

It is important to keep in mind that the terrorists want you alive. While they may
use drugs, blindfolds or gags at the time of abduction, you should not be alarmed or resist
unduly. Struggling is likely to result in even more severe measures. To the terrorists,
however, it is important that the victims be rendered completely devoid of any sensory
perception that would later compromise their identities and/or location.


Occupy your mind by noting – for later reference – sounds, direction of movement,
passage of time, conversations of the terrorists and their information or circumstances
that might be useful. Pay close attention to instructions and try to comply with those,
which do not impact adversely on other hostages.


The living conditions a hostage must endure have varied greatly from incident to
incident. Hostages have been held for days, months or even years in unfamiliar terrain
where heat and lack of water, food and toilet facilities have been almost unbearable. In a
barricade hostage situation, victims may be in familiar, less primitive surroundings.
Kidnap victims have been forced to live in makeshift, ell-like places in attics or basements.
There may be a total lack of privacy. Conventional toilet facilities may be lacking.
Maintaining one’s dignity and self-respect under such conditions will be difficult, but this
is veer important. Composure could be the key to retaining your status as a human being
and hence a life worth saving in the eyes of
the terrorists.


Fear is the most important tool of the

terrorists. They use it to control, intimidate
and wear down the hostage and the
negotiators as well as a larger national or
international audience sympathetic to the
victim’s plight. They may induce fear by
loading and unloading weapons in the
presence of the hostage, displaying excesses
of temper, resorting to physical abuse and
staging mock executions.

Fear of dying is very real and it can become overwhelming, especially during the
early phase of captivity. Terrorists have been known to raise again the specter of death
even after the victim begins to have hopes of rescue or release. Death, certainly, is a real
possibility. Statistically, however, the odds favor a hostage being released alive.


Mental stimulation can be achieved in various ways. Terrorists have been known to
provide reading material, a tape reorder on one occasion, cell phones, moving camera and
tapes. Depending upon what is available, the hostage should read; develop and keep track
of the passage of time; make games such as cards or chess from scraps; recall favorite
songs, poems or passage of scriptures, writ a novel; compose music to relieve mental

A side effect of captivity for some hostages is weight loss. It may occur even
though meals may be adequate. Hostages may suffer gastrointestinal upsets and/or
constipation. Although these symptoms can be debilitating, they are generally not life
threatening. You should not hesitate to complain and request medication since terrorist
wants to keep their hostages alive. In a number of cases, terrorists have provided a
medical care for hostages suffering from illness and/or injury.


Most hostages who die are killed during rescue attempts. It is, therefore, crucial for
you to be especially alert, cautious and obedient to instructions should you or the terrorist
suspect such an attempt is imminent or occurring.

The captors, as well as the captives, are likely to feel threatened and even panic.
The terrorists will be extremely nervous during any release phase especially if the
negotiations lasted over a long, drawn-out period. They will also be anxious to evade
capture and punishment.

As the central figure in a rescue attempt, you must avoid all sudden moves that
might invite reactions from the rescuer forces as well as from the terrorist. The impulse to
stand up and run must be avoided. You may be mistaken for a terrorist by the rescuer
forces. The safest response is to drop to the floor or ground immediately and lie as flat as


As soon as possible after rescue or release, write down everything you an

remember about the incident, the location and condition of the other hostages, location of
guards, location and description of weapons and any other information which might be
useful to the authorities during tactical debrief.


“The Network of Terrorism”, A Publication of the US Department of State

“Terrorism Security and Survival”, Executive Handbook, Office of Special Investigation

The Foundation of Air Force Thinking

The Air Force is a unique major service of the armed forces. While the land forces
and naval forces are anchored on deeper historical foundations, the air force is the newest
yet the swiftest in its evolution.

Ground forces act in an environment characterized by the omnipresence of man,

who experiences it on a daily basis.1[1] Unlike the air forces, ground forces do not rely on
technological progress to enhance its efficiency.2[2] Experience in land warfare has
shown that control of high grounds has a decided advantage for a ground force. 3[3] The
complexity of land affects its efficiency more than technology. Naval forces, on the other
hand, operate in a lesser complex medium-the sea. To exist at sea, let alone move or fight,
man depends on ships.4[4] Ships are the key to mobility and survivability.5[5]

In some ways, the aerospace environment consolidates the qualities of the land
and sea environments. For example, it combines the potential energy and observational
advantages of the high ground desired by land forces with the speed found to be so
valuable by early sea power strategists.6[6]

Air forces owed its creation to the ability of man to harness machines to achieve
flight and traverse great distances in shorter time than surface vehicles and human beings
can. The unique aerospace environment created a new breed of warrior class-with unique
ethos and far more complex foundation in its thinking.


The PAF Air Power Manual, defines air power as the ability to project military force
in the third dimension-which includes the environment of space- by or from a platform

1[1] Future Engagements, France

2[2] Ibid

3[3] The PAF Air Power Manual, 2000

4[4] Ibid p 3-1

5[5] Ibid

6[6] Ibid
above the surface of the earth. The manual elucidated that the first use of air power was
confined to the direct support of land and sea forces, that is, air power was simply an
extension of land and sea power. From that modest beginning, air power has developed
into an integral yet discreet part of warfare.


The influence of army thinking to the Philippine Air Force predates even the
foundation of the PAF in July 1947. Broadly, there are key doctrinal shifts in the Philippine
Air Force.


The air forces role in the two World Wars were reconnaissance, lift, bombardment,
and pursuit or escorts. The air force thinking or correctly saying, the army thinking, was
that the aircraft were primarily mobile artillery, swift transportation, and comprehensive
battlefield information gathering platforms. With these varied roles, the army utilized the
aircraft to counter the enemy’s aircraft. Using aircraft to destroy enemy aircraft resulted to
the contest to control the air. All air forces trace it’s thinking to the desire to gain
command of the air. Tom Clancy specifically mentioned in his book Fighter Wing: A
Guided Tour of An Air Force Combat Wing that it was the Germans at Verdun, in the bitter
weather of February 1916, who first made actual the concept we now call air power-the
systematic application of tactical air craft to control a battle field. 7[7] For quite a while, the
first proposition of air power – whoever controls the air control the surface - remained the
uncontested doctrinal core of air force thinking.8[8] The improved lethality of the aircraft
and its impact to the battlefield assured the victory of armies who posses it.

The Philippines lost the war as soon as the Japanese planes destroyed the air
force of the USAFFE during the initial stages of World War II. Later on, American victory
became possible only after the Americans gained the advantage in the air contest
beginning at the Battle of Midway. While gallantry remained obvious in many battles, the
role and importance of air power during the war assured the future of an independent air


7[7] Clancy, Tom, Fighter Wing A Guided Tour of An Air Force Combat Wing, Introduction Berkley Books New York 1 995

8[8] Ten Propositions of Air Power, Air Power Journal, AU, Maxwell AFB
The prominent role of the army air force during the war eventually led to the
creation of an independent air force. Except for the Royal Air Force and its Commonwealth
air forces, majority of the world’s air forces officially began its foundation after World War
II. The PAF officially became an independent air force at this same time. The pursuit air
force units, later known as interceptors, metamorphosed into fighter units as pursuit
planes became the primary force employed to maintain command of the air.

The core unit of the PAF, then and now and perhaps in the future, is still the fighter
unit (5 Fighter Wing). Since the first proposition of air power prescribed that control of
the air is a requirement before any air force role can be performed, the fighter aircraft
became the baseline of the degree of the air force capability. The capability of the air force
will, in turn, determine victory or defeat for all other surface forces in defense or offense
role against a force that has air power.


Since Douhet advocated that bombers would get through9[9], it was concluded
that the primal reason for maintaining an air force is for external defense against foreign
air forces first before defense against other invading forces from the outside. It is now
common to think that the air force is the strategic force and should be tooled to strike
deep into the enemy core. The air force is the only component of the armed force that can
perform defense-in-depth, meeting the enemy force as far as practicable away from the
Philippine territory.

Among the Major Services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, it is the PAF
that literally grew under the aegis of the Americans. As hand me downs aircraft from the
USAF came, it is logical that it was the American air doctrine that dominated the PAF

9[9] Douhet, G, Command of the Air

thinking. The basic text of the US doctrine clearly reflected experiences in World War II
and the thrust was that air power could be employed against the heartland of a nation and
in peripheral areas of conflict; that weapons of mass destruction should be used in
heartland attacks; that control of the air was essential in peripheral actions and desirable
in heartland attacks; and that the final selection of targets must be based on military
factors but that an enemy’s emotional response to air attack must be considered for its
psychological impact on his national will.10[10] Despite the heavy influence of the
Americans, the PAF did not escape the demand for other uses for the air force.
Eventually, the air force became essential in constabulary and internal security


During the HUK campaign, the P51 Mustangs – then the prime fighter aircraft of the
PAF, were utilized to locate and strafe rebels. At times, the PAF conducted bombing
missions against known rebel lairs. Later on, as the Americans adopted the “Cavalry” –
Air Mobile operations using the UH-1H Helicopters demanded by its anti-insurgency
operations in Vietnam. General John D. Ryan, Air Force Chief of Staff wrote, “the primary
purpose of tactical air forces is to provide the necessary protection and support to ground
and sea forces to allow them to control their environment. The classic mission remains air
superiority, close air support, and interdiction.”

Corollary, the PAF received the T28 “Tora-Tora” from the Americans in the early
70’s as the Americans replaced the T28 with more lethal strike aircraft. Eventually, the T28
replaced the 5 Fighter Wing jets in conducting air strike in Mindanao and in other parts of
the country. The urgency of close air support through air strikes and tactical airlift slowly
shifted the bulk of PAF concerns into tactical roles. While the F5As, which replaced the
F86, remained in the limelight and consciousness of the other forces through the Blue
Diamond-demonstration flights, the bulk of PAF concerns were air strikes, airlift, and
occasional reconnaissance. It was only in the late eighty’s, however, that the PAF
officially acknowledge the shift from external defense to tactical air roles. The wisdom of
such shift is beyond this monograph although it can be opined that the AFP literally lost
any future conflict against any organized armed force with naval, air and land forces the
day the PAF shifted its concerns to purely tactical role and neglected the air superiority

10[10] Futrell, Robert Frank, Ideas, Concepts, Doctrines Volume II Basic Thinking in the United States Air Force 1961-1984 Air
University Press Maxwell AFB Alabama 1989
role. Any military leader, not just Air Force leaders, must heed the warnings of history-any
conflict without a credible air force at your side will mean a sure defeat.


The prevailing Air Force thought after the World War is about “Strategic Level”
operations. The emergence of tactical Air Force thought was demanded by the low level
conflicts that characterize the Cold War era. The insurgency in the Philippines demanded
the tactical air force concept more than the strategic air force – air defense role context for
a small air force. Through the years, the PAF has been overwhelmed by the need of the
surface forces, still dominated or influenced by Army thinking. Consequently, the
operational level air force concern is missing.

The PAF used to conduct regular exercises unilaterally at the operational level.
The official shift to tactical focus eventually scrapped the regular exercises like “Sanay
Datu” and “Sanay Sibat” and the operational level air force art of planning and expertise
deteriorated. The changing environment demands that the PAF conducts effective
operational level planning and operations if it hopes to provide an environment conducive
for surface forces victory.

The promise of the AFP Modernization Program may provide the platform of
whatever design suitable for air defense and tactical role in the future. The platform,
however, will be less effective if the PAF cannot weave the operational art. At this time,
serious efforts should be started not only to narrow the technological gap but also find the
missing operation dimension in air force operations. Wargaming that will institutionalize
air campaign planning, air defense, and “train as we fight” may be the initial means to find
the missing operational dimension. Wargames have proven vital in teaching military
leadership how to think better – how to ask the right questions, how to anticipate, how to
adapt and is an innovative tool for achieving successful war-fighting strategies.11[11]
Issues developed from wargaming benefit war fighter via education, training and


11[11] Col Bobby J. Wiles USAF, Silver Flag: A Concept for Operational Warfare, Air Power Journal Winter 2001

12[12] Ibid
The PAF has started a monumental effort to rectify its doctrinal faults in the past
by publishing its PAF Air Power Manual. The objective of air power doctrine is to
construct a framework or model that explains the full capability of air and space power in a
logical and realistic fashion and which avoids doctrinal inconsistencies among the various
elements of joint, multinational and other single service doctrine.13[13] Additionally, the
effort to update or even revise the PAF O-1 or the operational level air doctrine assures
that the PAF has examined its concept, force structure, and meld this for relevant air roles
in the changing security environment.

The ideas presented so far scratches only the surface of some issues confronting
the PAF. There will be worthwhile activities to make the Air Force relevant but the
foundation of air force unit must be its doctrine. If there was ever a subject for which Air
Force Commanders must be specific, cystal clear and positive, it would be embodied in
the PAF doctrines.14[14]

13[13] Mellinger, Philip, The Future of Air Power, Air Power Journal

14[14] MGen Sarmiento, PAF, PAFM O-1 1978

A Peace Strategy proposal
For The Mindanao Problem

“We live in seven thousand islands. We profess no less than five religions. We pray in no fewer than seven native
tongues. But all of us - Muslim or Christian, Tagalog or Visayan, or Ilocano or Kapampangan – all of us are Filipinos not
only because we are brothers in blood – many of us are not – but because we are all brothers in tears; not because we all
share the same land – many of us are landless – but because we share the same dream. Whether we like it or not, we are
one nation with one future, a future that will be as bright or as dark as we remain united or divided.”

- Jose W. Diokno

In the Southern part of the Philippines lies Mindanao. The name “Mindanao”
evokes wealth of images, some are complementary others are paradoxical. Some images
are based on scholarship, others on personal experience. Others reflect fear and
ignorance even bewilderment. All these jostle for acceptance and play a large part in
shaping the meanings and interpretations of Mindanao’s history and contemporary

In this benighted land, intense armed conflict between what used to be Malay
brothers has been cruelly raging for decades.2 Historians, however, argue that war in
Mindanao has been going on for centuries. In fact, the conflict now known as the
“secessionist problem” or “Moro rebellion” traces its roots to the coming of Spanish
conquistadors in 16 Century.3 The effects of secessionist rebellion and fratricidal conflict
had by now multiplied.

This is an affirmation of Kant’s argument that war had long served the function of
motivating people to innovate and to exert themselves in order to prevail against their
enemies.4 Unless combatants reverse course, the war in Southern Philippines would
become increasingly violent. Consequently, the periods of peace would just be a pause for
the terminal objective of annihilation. Similarly, peace will merely become a time for
rearmament and reaffirmation of hostile policies.

At first glance it might appear that the policy of an “all out war” could wipe away
the crisis in Mindanao. However, the military solution, an approach that sadly resonates
among many Filipinos blinded by centuries-old prejudices, has so far not attained a
lasting peace. Interestingly, according to Bok, this solution is dangerous as it conveys the
risk to the combatants of becoming vengeful, fanatical and ultimately blind to the
humanity of those whom they oppose. Worst, cruelty could similarly be inflicted to
persons with no part in the conflict. The disastrous impact of such an occurrence would
be detrimental to the future of the country.

The current efforts of the government in entering into a negotiated agreement with
the Southern Philippines Secessionist groups (SPSGs) are indications of its commitment
to address such issues as peace building and conflict resolution. In fact, it would be to the
interest of the Filipino nation to make peace long before further deterioration sets in.
Obviously, there is no other time in the nation’s history where the imperative for peace in
Mindanao is most sought than it is today.
The quest for peace and the search for solutions to problems in human security
and governance must be done within a comprehensive framework5. The military solution
alone is not the ultimate answer to the problem in Mindanao. To claim that the conflict in
Mindanao can be solved by an “all out war” against the rebels is seeing only the
proverbial tip of the iceberg. The ills affecting the area go far deeper. These ills are
steeped in a complexity of political, economic and social inequities manifested by the
abject poverty of the majority of the people6.

A war that is essentially among brothers is a war without victors and vanquished.
As such, the answer lies not in military subjugation. Besides, the army cannot stay and
fight in Mindanao forever. Mindanao history shows when the army relieves the pressure
on the secessionists, the movement will flare up again. This has been the pattern through
the decades.

Crushing the secessionist rebels without at the same time eliminating the deeper
roots of discontent has proven to be an ineffective way of dealing with the Mindanao
conflict. Also, if ever there will be another wide scale armed conflict in the Southern
Philippines, it is predicted that other areas outside of the “zones of war” will undoubtedly
be affected. Many predict that if this shall not be resolved in due time, its effect shall
spread all over the country.

The problem in Mindanao cuts into the inner heart of the nation, hence, there is a
need to decisively deal with the conflict and once and for all solve it. It is clear also that
the peace strategy must include dealing with different cultures, unique value systems and
diverse faiths. Developmental processes must converge in cooperation along these
factors. The foregoing will serve as the foundations for crafting the proposed Peace
Strategy for Mindanao.

The proposed strategy is the “The Strategy of Compassionate-Decisive

Engagement”. It evokes qualities of understanding and consideration but with firm

determination and resolve to achieve the set goals and objectives. The proposed strategy

veers away from the traditional “right hand – left hand” approach or “carrot and stick”

style of attaining peace.

The root causes of the conflict are manifested through the interplay of the
following broad factors: Socio-Economic Malaise and Extreme Poverty, Mindanao for such
a long time now has consistently recorded the highest incidence of absolute and relative
poverty compared to Luzon and Visayas; Psycho-Cultural, the study suggests that the
competition for resources and the imbalances in the poverty situation in Mindanao created
division based on ethnic, religion, and cultural differences; and, Political, the evidences
suggest that perceived economic inequities, particularly those arising from current
policies can undermine liberal political practices and lead to the parochial politics that
characterize ethnic and sectarian conflict.

Compassionate refers to the idea that the strategy must be viewed from the
standpoint of understanding and consideration in order to open the necessary change on
the perspective of the Moros’ way of life. It is a “peace among the braves” similar to the
one secured by the United States after a bloody civil war and the American-Indian war.
Decisive means the resolute effort to really address the politicize issues that led to the
conflict. No more palliatives, no unwarranted promises, no political dominance, no
appeasement and unnecessary accommodations but a sincere effort to address all factors
using the historical and cultural perspectives.

In this strategy, the role of the military is also envisioned to be that of a peace
enforcer rather than a main component of the solution to the problem. After a peace
agreement is reached, a change in the manner of employment must be made from a
conventional way of dealing with the problem to the doctrinal concept of operations other
than war. The use of non-lethal weapon should also be explored.

This strategy has four factors and adopts Grant’s common elements of successful
strategies7. These factors are:

Goals that are simple, consistent and

long term. The strategy features single
mindedness of goal, that of attaining a lasting
peace in Mindanao. It is long term. It may take
years or decades to fulfill its goals. The war
develops out of centuries old grievances. There
is no such thing as “short cut to peace”. Peace is
not simply an absence of war, not a short interim
period between regular conflicts.

For the Philippine setting, peace is a

complex texture of positive relations inside
societies. The most effective way of preventing
war is to work for peace, justice, dialogue, mutual understanding. Thus, positive work
cannot be accomplished once and forever. It is an ongoing and endless process, which
requires every generation to give its best to create peace.

Profound understanding of the environment. This research has shown that it is

only through the deep and insightful appreciation of the Mindanao conflict environment
that an appropriate strategy could be designed and developed. The Mindanao situation is
highly complex. Many observers believe that the eruption of renewed large-scale war in
Mindanao remains a distinct possibility unless an innovative way of dealing with the
problems is achieved8.

As seen in the foregoing arguments (based on the theoretical and empirical bases)
extreme poverty and inequality provided opportunity for the politicization of cultural
identity. Consequently, traditional differences both in the appreciation of democratic
values as well as of governance and development become apparent9.

Objective appraisals of resources. The strategy focuses on exploiting the internal

strengths while protecting areas of weaknesses. It uses imaginative approach to the
problem in contrast with business as usual approach. The strategy should exploit the
necessary instruments of national power. The initiatives under this strategy should aim at
the sound and judicious utilization of all available resources.

Effective implementation. Without effective implementation, the best-laid strategies

are of little use. The success will depend on the effectiveness of the leader that will
implement the strategy in terms of eagerness to make decision, energy in implementing
them and skill in demanding loyalty and commitment from subordinates. Organizations
should be established and structured for effective strategy implementation. Critical to
such organization is the highly efficient marshalling of resources and capabilities as well
as the effective response to the environment.



The government’s aim should be focused on securing peace while accelerating

development in conflict and non-conflict areas. Programs that enhance multi-ethnic
coexistence shall strengthen peace-building efforts. Priority core programs are
enhancement of social cohesion, cultural diversity program, education, health, agriculture
and industrial production and infrastructure development. There are also measures
ensuring representation for all cultural groups. This strategy provides among others,
system of resource allocation such as equitable distribution of political position along
parties and ethnic lines. The strategic measures shall address the interim or immediate
solutions and the long-term solutions.




1. Forge peace with MNLF (Misuari factions), MILF and other rebel groups (except ASG
which is at the moment still considered a plain terrorist group). Involve council of elders in
the negotiation.

2. Raise the standard of living in Mindanao giving priority to ARMM, Western Mindanao
and Central Mindanao.

3. Declare Free Trade Zones in strategic locations in Mindanao.

4. Modify infrastructure development policies giving due preference to Mindanao for the
next ten years.

5. Reactivate the BIMP-EAGA concept. Look south in formulating trading policies.

6. Create measures to raise the socio-economic conditions of Muslim and Lumad

communities and improve their living standards.

7. Implement a system of education that will instill in every child the habit of learning how
to help oneself. This is the key to economic independence.

8. Formulate and immediately implement policies that address inequalities in assets and
access to resources and basic infrastructure.

9. Significantly reduce poverty in Mindanao and break the vicious cycle of


10. Implement law that would prevent the wanton exploitation of resources in Mindanao.



1. Develop a common vision and feeling of oneness.

2. Establish a cultural diversity program at school and at work place. Remove existing
biases and prejudices through information campaign. A change of attitude and belief
system should be given importance in the strategy.

3. Implement measures to fight the most difficult battle, that of winning the hearts and
minds of the Muslims, Christians and Lumads in Mindanao to dvelop culture of peace.

4. Establish a peace education program and rebuild the social relationships of the people
in the conflict- affected area.

5. Provide scholarships to children in war torn areas.

6. Provide protections to the victims of conflict.

7. Play an active role (the government) to the growing literature on Muslim culture and
history and contribute to the better understanding of the socio-ideological conflict in the
Southern Philippines.

8. Celebrate national holiday to acknowledge the Muslim presence in the country (note:
this has been done lately with the declaration of national holiday on December 17, 2001).

9. Promote dialogue and tolerance, equality and stability, and good social administration.



1. Strengthen diplomatic relations with OIC member countries.

2. Secure observer or full member status for the Philippines at the OIC.

3. Formulate allocative system, which is intended to bring fairness to the system of

political representation. Develop power-sharing scheme.

4. Implement political solutions to the problem. Remedy problem areas on the aspect of
constitutionally mandated autonomy.

5. Remedy problem areas on the aspect of constitutionally mandated autonomy.

6. Retrain selected AFP units for peace-enforcement and counter-terrorist operations

taking into considerations the Mindanao scenario. Promote to star rank qualified Muslim
AFP officers.

7. Appoint substantial numbers of “qualified” Muslims and Lumads to high government


8. Stronger Muslim political representation in cabinet level departments and the House of
Representatives and the Senate.
9. Depoliticize ethnic identity. (This blocks the foothold needed by self-styled messiah or
political entrepreneur for significant participation in any movement that tend to mobilize
culturally defined groups for political action and even violence).

10. Implement a modified democratic representation to accommodate qualified Muslim,

Christians, and Lumad candidates. This should include party candidate nominations.

11. Reduce the level of political intervention by central government over local government.

12. Explore other means of granting autonomy like federalism or creation of Mindanao




1. Improve Muslim education to be technically, academically, spiritually at par with the

rest of the country.

2. Rectify history textbook to highlight on the role of the Muslims as well as the
indigenous people to prevent prejudicial perspectives taught to our children in school.
This should include how the Muslims are depicted in Museums.

3. Reconstruct devastated Muslim communities and rehabilitate their economic

resources. The Muslims must be rehabilitated socially and psychologically, their human
dignity restored together with their faith in justice and equality.

4. Accelerate development of physical infrastructure in key productive centers.

5. Implement an aggressive human resource development program to tap talents of

Mindanaoans in nation building and community development.

6. Provide technical and financial support to improve madrasah system of education.

7. Exploit tourism potential of the area.

8. Quick resolution of all ancestral land claims. Provide land to the landless Muslims (sort
of compensatory justice).

9. Pursue the implementation of the AFP Modernization Program.

10. Streamline government agencies involved in Mindanao development. Reduce it to only

one body headed by a highly qualified Mindanaoan.

11. Proper implementation of all development projects specially those funded by Overseas
Development Assistance program.

12. Eradicate graft and corruption.

13. Explore how shariah court fit into the constitutional concept of justice dispensation.
Other Options

Other options are not viable because of reasons that tend to negate whatever
advantages the strategist would initially achieve through its implementation. The “all out
war strategy” definitely will not solve the problem in Mindanao. While military solutions
may provide temporary relief, it cannot be a lasting solution. It may just heighten the
animosity between Muslims and Christians. Also it will go against the policy of Arroyo
administration which unconditionally taken the stand of peace in addressing the Mindanao
conflict. Meanwhile the constitutional accommodation like resorting to federalism as the
alternative to autonomy needs careful study. Questions like how to divide the country into
federal states, the unforeseen implications federalism, it costs, and countless other
considerations would naturally crop up.

The author highly recommends the adoption and implementation of the “strategy
of Compassionate-Decisive Engagement” as the government strategy to attain a lasting
peace in Mindanao.

It is also recommended that further research should be conducted on the following


1. The Assessment of the Peace Strategy for Mindanao

2. The Economic Potential of Mindanao: Its Implication to Peace

3. An assessment of the Government’s Response to the Mindanao Problem

4. The Role of the AFP in the Implementation of Peace Strategy for Mindanao

1 Turner, R. J., May R. J. and Turner, L. R. eds (1992) Mindanao: Land of Unfulfilled Promise, Quezon City: New Day Publisher.

2 Sadain, M. K. (2000) The Hiatorical antecedents of the Moro Rebellion in the Southern Philippines, Speech delivered during the
launching of “Under the Crescent Moon: Rebellion in Mindanao”, Ateneo de Manila, Quezon City, April 15, 2000.

3 Abat, F. U. (1993) the Day We Nearly Lost Mindanao: The CENCOM Story, Quezon City: SBA Printers, Inc.

4 Bok, S. (1989) A Strategy for Peace: Human Values and the Threat of War, New York: Vintage Books.

5 Braid, F. R. (2001) The Lessons of Philippine Peace Process, Paper delivered at TODA Conference, 2001.

6 Pobre, C. P. (2001) A Strategy for Good Governance, OSS Digest, 1st and 2nd Quarter, pp. 38-40.

7 Grant, R. M. (1998) Contemporary Strategy Analysis, Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Inc.

8 Aguja, M. J. (2000) The Aftermath of Ethnic Violence - Post War Reconstruction in the Southern Philippines: A Preliminary
Assessment of the Role of the International Community, Research Paper, Ph. D. Nagoya University, Japan.

9 Santos, S. M. (2000) Constitutional Accommodation of a Bangsa Moro Islamic Region, Masteral Law Thesis, University of
The Armed Forces Of the Philippines
Legislative System
Towards An Institutional Relationship


The enactment of Republic Act 7898 otherwise known as “the Armed Forces of the
Philippines Modernization Law” spawned policy directions and development thrusts for
the AFP. Its passage provided impetus for the AFP towards a capable defense
establishment instrumental in the achievement of national objectives, preservation of
territorial integrity and the protection of national sovereign. Eventually, the law mandated
the Armed Forces to fulfill its vision and accomplish its mission for the country. However,
its implementation is not yet realized due to cumbersome bureaucratic processes.

As stressed by the famous strategist, Clausewitz in his Principle of Trinity,

emphasized the importance of politics in the successful conduct of military affairs. Given
the critical role the legislature plays, it’s time for the AFP to address the necessary
measures in propagating its legislative agenda. The AFP in order to be successful in
fulfilling its constitutional mandate must continue to pursue legislative strategy through a
definitive system. Through this system, legislative awareness will be properly generated,
cultivated, enhanced and developed to address present and future requirements of the
armed forces. Moreover, issues and concerns affecting the AFP will be properly brought to
the attention of legislators for wider support. This endeavor will open more opportunities
for the AFP to grasp a panoramic view of situations that it is bound to concentrate on.
Indispensably, the AFP in order to be successful in fulfilling its constitutional mandate
must be supported by Congress through financial resources. It should be taken into
consideration that the role of the AFP is continuously expanding from the maintenance of
peace and order stretching to national development and nation building efforts.
Eventually, the AFP will soon establish an institutionalized relationship with the Congress
to realize the aforementioned undertakings.


The 1986 Philippine Constitution provides that... “All appropriations…shall

originate exclusively in the House of Representatives…” Congress organizes committees
and subcommittees such as the Committee on National Defense and Security, Senate
Finance Committee and other oversight subcommittees to carry out annual defense
appropriations acts. Evidently, Congress is inherently vested the power and influence in
policy directions and development thrusts for the AFP. It consists of the Senate and
House of Representatives. The House of Representatives is vested the power of the purse
which means that it has the sole plenary power to initiate revenue measures for the whole
AFP. On the other hand, the Senate exercises the power and influence in setting policies
relative to the needs of the AFP including its operational requirements. Constitutionally,
Congress exercises great power over the AFP’s budgets and programs aside from law-
making and oversight responsibilities.

Over the years, the effort of the AFP Liaison Office for Legislative Affairs
(AFPLOLA) has been responsively effective as the eyes and ears of the armed forces. It
serves as the link between the AFP and Congress and assumes responsibility of providing
information needed by the latter for purposes of legislation. However, its impact to the
whole AFP is not encompassing due to peculiarities in the functions of the different major
services. Relatively, legislative actions undertaken by the AFPLOLA constitute general
application to the whole military organization. Ideally, the initiatives for legislative actions
should emanate from different major services to lead to a more responsive, integrated,
efficient and effective programs. This approach entails a synergistic effect on the
legislative agenda of the entire AFP.


The AFP Legislative System is deeply founded on the dynamics of legislative

actions with great impact on daily military activities. The identification, formulation and
establishment legislative agenda will enhance and develop the defense and security
administration of the AFP. As shown below, the Bills initiated by Congress emanate from
various AFP units including AFP related organizations and institutions as identified by the
AFP Technical Working Group for Legislative Affairs (AFPTWGLA). The activation of the
AFPTWGLA spawned the institutionalization process that will form the core of legislative
actions of the AFP. With this undertaking, the legislative process will cover a wider
spectrum in terms of effectiveness and application. Moreover, legislative actions will
generate support that will guarantee a dynamic effect on current and future military
operations. Based on the studies conducted by Representative Teodoro, members of
Congress are not fully aware of the AFP’s legislative strategies due to lack of established
interrelationship between the legislative making bodies and the defense establishment.

The AFPTWGLA will serve as the instrumentality in determining the AFP legislative
strategies to be brought to the attention of Congress. Issues, concerns and problems of
various Major Services including other AFP entities will identify areas that require
legislative actions. In this manner, Congress will be properly aware of the needs and
requirements of the whole AFP. Likewise, legislators will determine the immediate
necessity of the AFP to be prioritized given the available financial resources. On the other
hand, the AFP upon determining its legislative strategies will continue to conduct review
and evaluation of present bills filed in Congress including proposed bills. The AFP review
and evaluation will enable the Congress to be provided with essential information
necessary to attest to the effectiveness, efficiency and responsiveness to the AFP’s
constitutional mandate. The review and evaluation process is evidently a cumbersome
method that requires extensive deliberation starting from the AFP’s lowest unit to the
highest echelon. Finally, the AFP legislative assessment process shall determine the
overall impact of enacted laws to the armed forces. This is a careful analysis on the effect
of enacted laws in relation to the mandate of the AFP. This process will provide
continuous guidance on the development and enhancement of legislative affairs for the


Institutional relationship with Congress is so vital in the effective administration of

the AFP. Explaining the AFP issues and providing timely and accurate information and
advice to the Congress will provide for the success on the mandate of the armed forces.
The AFP’s operational readiness in the current and future situations must be fully
recognized by the law making body for the AFP to be provided the necessary support. The
AFP being intertwined with the influence of Congress must take every effort to capitalize
on every opportunity to communicate its message to the legislators. The armed forces
through the AFPTWGLA must proactively inform and educate Congress about its
requirements, its relevance to the country’s defense and security, and its participation as
the government’s primary partner in national development and progress. Currently, the
AFP is more engaged in legislative undertakings through the AFPTWGLA because the
defense establishment cannot afford to lose the opportunity where every soldiers’ lives is
on the line and where the institution is at stake.

Through the dedicated effort of the AFPTWGLA, the AFP will surely afford a
strengthened legislative action as envisioned on the implementation of its Modernization
Program. The AFP with its institutionalized legislative approach will better serve the
country and its people.
Analyzing The Leadership of VO NGUYEN


On April 29, 1975, the last batch of Americans in Saigon, South Vietnam including
the US Ambassador were flown out of the US Embassy by helicopters as thousands of
South Vietnamese surround the compound, begging to join the exodus.

The following day, April 30, 1975, North Vietnamese tanks smashed through the
gates of Independence Palace in Saigon signaling the collapse of South Vietnam and
American interventionism in Indochina. It also signaled the unification and independence
of the two Vietnams.

A few years before those events of April 1975, General Vo Nguyen Giap, formerly
deputy prime minister, minister of defense and chief of the North Vietnamese Army, was
already at the backstage, withdrawn from day to day command of the People’s Army of
Vietnam (PAVN).

The commander in chief of the Vietminh forces who orchestrated the defeat of the
French at the battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and the chief strategist of the Tet Offensive
against the Americans in 1968, General Giap is among the most important figures in the
history of Communist Vietnam.

General Vo Nguyen Giap is the living legend of Vietnam who is best known for his
fanatical obsession with freeing his homeland from western domination and uniting it
under the communist rule of Hanoi. He was a skilled logistician as he moved men and
supplies across impossible terrain in great numbers to accomplish goals.

The son of an anti-colonialist scholar, Giap as a youth began to work for

Vietnamese autonomy. He attended the same high school as Ho Chi Minh, the Communist
leader, and while still a student in 1926 he joined the Tan Viet Cach Menh Dang, the
Revolutionary Party of Young Vietnam. In 1930, as a supporter of student strikes, the
French Sûreté arrested and sentenced him to three years in prison, but he was paroled
after serving only a few months.
Giap studied at the Lycée Albert-Sarraut in Hanoi, where in 1937 he received a law
degree. He then became a professor of history at the Lycée Thanh Long in Hanoi, where
he converted many of his fellow teachers and students to his political views. In 1938 he
married Minh Thai, and together they worked for the Indochinese Communist Party. When
in 1939 the party was prohibited, Giap escaped to China, but the French police captured
his wife and sister-in-law was guillotined while his wife received a life sentence and died in
prison after three years.

In 1941 Giap formed an Alliance with Chu Van Tan, guerilla leader of the Tho, a
minority tribal group of northeastern Vietnam. Giap hoped to build an army that would
drive out the French and support the goals of the Viet Minh, Ho Chi Minh’s Vietnamese
independence movement. With Ho Chi Minh, Giap marched his forces into Hanoi in August
1945, and in September, Ho announced the independence of Vietnam, with Giap in
command of all police and internal security forces and commander in chief of the armed
forces. Giap sanctioned the execution of many non-Communist nationalists, and he
censored nationalist newspapers to conform with Communist Party directives.

In analyzing the achievements, leadership traits and actions of General Giap, it is

very important to study major battles where he directly participated.

In this paper, we will examine the events of the battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and
the Tet Offensive in 1968. Since the latter involved simultaneous attacks on more than 30
provincial capitals and centers, we will deal more specifically on the Batlle of Khe Sanh.


In the French Indochina War, Giap’s brilliance as a military strategist and tactician
led to his winning the decisive battle of Dien Bien Phu, which brought the French
colonialist regime in that region to an end.

Dien Bien Phu is a small village about three hundred miles west of Hanoi in
mountains along the Laotian border. In the center of the village was an airstrip built mainly
for interdicting infiltrators form north and west. The newly installed French commander in
Vietnam, General Henri Navarre, chose this place to provoke Giap and his guerilla warriors
for a full-scale conventional battle. The village seemed to be the right place to mass a
sizeable number of French troops in order to disrupt the Vietminh supply routes from
China and Laos.

In November 1953, Navarre sent in several battalions of paratroopers to seize the

large, sixteen kilometers by nine kilometers valley. The valley was surrounded by hills
reaching the height of more than three thousand feet with the village of Dien Bien Phu a
few kilometers south of the airstrip. Within the valley itself, there were several small hills
on either side of the airstrip covered by moderate to thick vegetation.

The area had the same weather patterns that beset the rest of Vietnam. Mild
winters followed by spring and monsoon season that lasted until June and then summer
with temperatures in the 90's.
Significantly after the monsoon rains, the most prevalent weather condition in the
region was very foggy and low ceiling with almost nil visibility. Normally, the fog obscured
observation from the air to the valley until mid morning or noon. In most cases, the low
ceilings between Hanoi and Dien Bien Phu, which limited air support to the garrison,
complicate this situation.

Navarre was very positive and estimated that the Vietminh gunners would have to
be exposed to fire on his camp, and his own guns and planes could wipe them off. He
expected to annihilate the Vietminh main force and he promised his superiors in Paris
"victory by the end of 1955".

Giap had anticipated Navarre's strategy and expected the French to occupy the
plain when the rainy season ended in late October. Before that time, Giap had begun
moving a Vietminh Division armed with Chinese and Russian armaments toward Dien Bien

By the end of the build-up, Giap had moved 48,000 troops around Dien Bien Phu
and additional 300,00 support troops with almost 200 heavy artillery pieces, several anti-
aircraft guns, rocket launchers and ammunition enough for the planned assault. The
French forces in the same area were estimated to have reached a peak of 18,000 combat

From November to February, Giap's forces launched diversionary attacks around

Vietnam, forcing Navarre to tie up his troops in minor skirmishes. On March 13, 1954, Giap
began his major assault.

Vietminh commandos slipped into Dien Bien Phu air base, poured water into the
fuel tanks of the fighter planes, set off explosive charges to tear up the landing strip and
left behind pamphlets warning the French troops of death. At 5 p.m., artillery rained down
the French command posts.

For more than eight weeks, the two hundred big guns pounded on the French
position and the result was astounding: The French suffered more than ten thousand total
casualties and around 6,000 prisoners.
General Vo Nguyen Giap had reversed the more than three hundred years of
military history. For the first time in the annals western colonialism, Asian troops defeated
an army considered to be among the most experienced, equipped with modern arms and
training, the French Army.


The village of Khe Sanh lay in the northwest corner of South Vietnam just below
the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and close to the Laotian border. Khe Sanh had been
garrisoned by the French during the first Indochina war and became an important US
Special Forces base early on during the second. Its importance lay in its proximity to the
Ho Chi Minh Trail which was used as primary supply route of the Vietcongs, or NVA.

From Khe Sanh, US artillery could shell the trail and observers could keep an eye
on NVA traffic moving southwards. If necessary they could call in air strikes across the
border in Laos. Special Forces working with local tribesmen also harassed NVA traffic in
the area and were a definite nuisance to Hanoi. In 1967, the Marines took over Khe Sanh
and converted it into a large firebase. The Special Forces moved their base to the
Montagnard village of Lang Vei.

By late January, some 6,000 Marines had been flown in to reinforce the Khe Sanh
garrison and thousands of reinforcements had been moved north of Hue. The NVA build-
up also continued; 40,000 North Vietnamese were ultimately moved in around Khe Sanh.

Initially, Giap positioned his artillery in the DMZ and then sent his assault troops
against the fortified hills surrounding Khe Sanh, which the Marines had captured in the
dogged fighting in 1967. Having captured the hill positions, Giap reasoned, the NVA
artillery could be moved onto the heights above the beleaguered base. Then - as happened
at Dien Bien Phu - waves of determined infantry would steadily grind away until the
defenders were pushed into a corner and finally over-run.

The NVA began a concentrated artillery garage and moved their troops forward to
begin building a network of entrenched positions in which they could prepare for further
assaults on Khe Sanh's outer defenses. Anti-aircraft guns and the worsening weather
made incoming supply flights difficult.

Air and supporting US forces were called in to engage the NVA in running
skirmishes around Khe Sanh. Electronic sensors running along the McNamara Line
surrounded Khe Sanh. Seismic and highly sensitive listening devices enabled the
Americans to monitor everything from normal conversations to radio communications.
Overhead, high-flying signal-intelligence (SIGINT) aircraft intercepted communications
traffic over the entire front and to and from command centers in North Vietnam.

While the world was watching the showdown at Khe Sanh, however, NVA and VC
regulars were also drifting into Saigon, Hue, and most of South Vietnam's cities. They
came in twos and threes, disguised as refugees, peasants, workers, and ARVN soldiers on
holiday leave. In Saigon, roughly the equivalent of five battalions of NVA/VC gradually
infiltrated the city without anyone informing or any of the countless security police taking
undue notice. Weapons came separately in flower carts, jury-rigged coffins, and trucks
apparently filled with vegetables and rice. There was also a VC network in Saigon and the
other major cities, which had stockpiled arms and ammunition drawn from hit-and-run
raids or bought openly on the black-market.
In the early morning hours of January 31 , the first day of the Vietnamese New
Year, NLF/NVA troops and commandos attacked virtually every major town and city in
south Vietnam as well as most of the important American bases and airfields. There were
some earlier attacks around Pleiku, Quang Nam, and Darlac but those who were expecting
some activity during Tet largely misinterpreted these as the enemy's main thrust.

Almost everywhere the attacks came as a total surprise. Vast areas of Saigon and
Hue suddenly found themselves "liberated" and parades of gun-waving NVA/VC marched
through the streets proclaiming the revolution while their grimmer-minded comrades
rounded up prepared lists of collaborators and government symphatizers for show trials
and quick executions.

The security of the US Embassy in Saigon was not in serious danger after the first
few minutes and the damage was slight but this attack on "American soil" captured the
imagination of the media and the battle became symbolic of the Tet Offensive throughout
the world.

The body count for the seventh-day battle was devastating for Giap's army as they
lost about 10,000 men in the Khe Sanh siege alone, and around 30,000 more in the other
areas of coordinated attack.


The battles of Dien Bien Phu and Khe Sanh have different results but they also
have many similarities. Both battles were fought in Vietnam on almost the same terrain.
Both involved guerilla fighters against superior enemies and both battles involved the
leadership and brilliance of General Vo Nguyen Giap.

Militarily, the battle of Dien Bien Phu was a devastation for the French Army as
they lost more than ten thousand troops, while in the battle of Khe Sanh, the US forces
were able to hold the ground and inflicted around 12,000 casualties to the Vietcongs.

The battle of Dien Bien Phu had direct effect to Vietnam's struggle for freedom as
the French agreed to sit on the negotiating table, which resulted to the division into two
Vietnams within the year. On the other hand, it took about seven years and several other
battles after Khe Sanh when the effect was felt before the unification and independence of
one country, Vietnam.


Having the battles of Dien Bien Phu and Khe Sanh in mind, we can now examine
General Giap as a leader and his character traits that contributed to what is Vietnam today.

Foremost, Giap had the COURAGE to pursue his ideals at any cost. He showed no
fear from the very start when he joined the revolutionary movement during his teens until
he led one of the largest army of the world, the PAVN.

Giap's SELFLESSNESS was noteworthy. He was willing to sacrifice his life to

advocate the liberation cause even when he was already a professional. He sacrificed his
family when he went on exile in furtherance of his nationalistic goals.
General Giap possesses a lot more positive traits, but his KNOWLEDGE and quest
for it was outstanding as he led his men to major battles. He studied the enemies very
well, as much as he studied his own unit, the terrain, the environment and the possible
outcomes. That is why the French position in Dien Bien Phu was not really impregnable as
they thought, and that is why the US air power in Khe Sanh had limits, as Giap knew.

Giap was a brilliant warrior who practically followed Clausewitz' Principles of War.
Among those he employed superbly in his decisive battles were the following:

a. Objective - Literally, the proper objective in battle is the destruction of

the enemy's combat forces. With Giap, there were always higher
objectives, as he wanted to force the French to negotiate (Dien Bien Phu)
and force the Americans to de-escalate (Khe Sanh).

b. Surprise - "accomplish your purpose before the enemy can effectively


Although the French knew of the impending attack in 1954, they never
realized its magnitude and manner until the d-day. The Americans were
likewise surprised with the timing and extent of the Tet Offensive in 1968.

c. Maneuver - "position your military resources to favor the

accomplishments of your mission"

Giap employed this principle in the most exceptional manner when he brought
thousands of men around Dien Bien Phu with many of them carrying bits and pieces of
artillery on foot.

On the relevance of General Giap's actions, we can learn a lot of lessons as we in

the AFP are still fighting several enemies of the state. The New People's Army seems to
have similarities with the Vietminhs or Vietcongs as regards the protracted war but the
main difference I would say, is the people. The people should believe in the war before it
could be won. There should be an overwhelming support by the people in order to win the
war. Whether it is in the Cordilleras or in the jungles of Mindanao, we should be able to get
the sympathy and support of the populace. It is not just a matter of superior armaments
and high technology equipment; rather it is a war for the hearts and minds of the people.
As General Vo Nguyen Giap put it, "IT IS THE PEOPLE WHO MADE THE DIFFERENCE,


Corpus, Victor N. Silent War. Quezon City: VNC, 1989.

Langguth, A. J. Our Vietnam The War 1954-1975. New York: Schuster, 2000.…
Personnel Recovery for the Philippine Air Force

Preserving the life and well being of our civilians and Service members, who are

placed in harm’s way while defending the Nation’s interest is, and must remain,

one of our highest priorities.

William J. Perry,
United States Secretary of Defense

Secretary of Defense Memorandum, 26 January 1996

Air Force Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) is a specific task performed by
rescue forces to effect the recovery of distressed personnel during war and Military
Operations Other Than War (MOOTW). Accomplished with a mix of dedicated and
augmenting assets, CSAR is an element of Personnel Recovery (PR). PR is the umbrella
term for operations focusing on recovering captured, missing, injured or isolated
personnel form danger. The air force organizes, trains, and equips personnel to conduct
CSAR operations across the range of military operations. However, downed crew
members (DCMs) are most likely air force personnel to require a CSAR effort during
military operations. As such, our CSAR doctrine focuses on DCM recovery.

Personnel recovery in combat operations in the 1970’s has lessons learned that in
effect contributed enormously to the accomplishment of the succeeding rescue missions.
Personnel recovery is now considered a moral responsibility of the PAF to ensure that in
the event of an aircraft being forced down during war, the survivor is given the best
chance of survival with the ultimate aim of return to safety. The following is an example
from World War II that shows the impact on combat aircrews of a strong commitment to
personnel recovery:

The psychological impact on all crews of knowing that if they were forced down in
inhospitable waters immediate help was on its way was a tremendous boost on morale
and confidence. Facing death on every sortie was already an enormous mental strain; the
realization that every effort would be made to retrieve them from the additional hazards of
a sea ditching relieved the crews minds of such extra doubts and worrying.
Air force combat rescue forces deploy to conduct
CSAR with dedicated rotary – and fixed-wing aircraft,
specially trained aircrews and support personnel in
response to area command tasked. The primary mission
of air force CSAR is to recover downed crewmembers and
other isolated personnel. Rescue forces may also conduct
collateral missions unique to their capabilities, such as
civil SAR, emergency aero-medical evacuation, disaster
relief, and non-combatant evacuation operations. Basic
aircraft and aircrew training and qualification permit
aircrew to conduct rescue operations for these non-CSAR
events and are approved on a case-by-case basis.

Air force combat rescue philosophy is based on maintaining a capability to recover

combat aircrews and other isolated personnel. This philosophy assumes that rescue
forces, like any other combat forces, will also be placed at risk to recover personnel.
Successful air force CSAR enhances the Area Commanders (AC) combat capability in at
least three ways. First, CSAR operations return key personnel to friendly control, allowing
them to fight again. Secondly, CSAR operations often influence the course of national
politics by denying the adversaries the opportunity to exploit the intelligence and
propaganda value of captured personnel. Lastly, the presence of a robust and viable
CSAR force increases morale, with a resultant increase in operational performance.

Personnel Recovery for the Philippine Air Force: A Combat Search and Rescue
Operations Doctrine is a document which establishes operational doctrine for the
Philippine Air Force (PAF) Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) operations, and outlines
the principles and procedures which guide the PAF in its CSAR organization, command
and control, force composition, employment and planning considerations. The PAF
organizes, trains and equips personnel to conduct CSAR and Search and Rescue (SAR)
operations across the range of military operations.

The PAF in the 1970s was engaged in numerous air operations in the north and
south of the Philippines where fighter planes and rotary aircraft were employed. These
assets are vulnerable to enemy surface-to-air weapons. The probability that these assets
could be forced down in a hostile environment is very slim, yet the PAF must be prepared
and has the responsibility to provide these aircrew with the resources for the conduct of
recovery operations based on effective CSAR doctrine.
The PAF philosophy on CSAR is to maintain a
capability to recover the combat aircrews (pilots) and other
isolated personnel form hostile or denied areas. Successful
CSAR operation enhances the capability of the CSAR forces
thus denying adversaries the opportunity to exploit the
intelligence and propaganda value of captured personnel.
Additionally, the presence of a robust and viable CSAR force
increases the morale, and ultimately, operational
performance of the combat aircrews and other isolated

The aim of this document is to provide the PAF the

doctrine for CSAR operations. This document establishes the
roles and responsibilities of air force personnel supporting
CSAR operations and outlines the principles for planning and
executing CSAR operations.

It describes the mission, command relationships, force composition, and planning

considerations necessary to conduct operations. It also discusses the relationship
between the air force component and the joint search and rescue organizations and
discusses the role of area command, tactical operations command, as well as CSAR
organization, responsibilities, capabilities, and procedures.
Philippine Air Force Tactical Air Power

Tactical air operations have become the PAF’s daily grind for more than two
decades now. It has focused its role more on internal security operations. Because of the
limited resources and platforms that the PAF utilizes to combat this problem, all of its air
assets were exploited in these operations. These constraints have led to the employment
of its strategic air resources on purely tactical air missions. The lethal air power of the
PAF for external defense operations is being reduced to some extent, but this should not,
in any way, change the Basic Doctrine the PAF is mandated to perform. With the
continuing insurgency and secessionist problems, the primordial role of the PAF was
concentrated on tactical air operations.

In effect, many ground commanders have viewed the PAF’s projection of air power
in a supporting and non-complementary role. They have confined themselves to the
concept that PAF tactical action is closely intertwined with Army ground action. Because
of this, history has made the PAF a traditionally CAS-oriented Air Force and there are no
manuals that prescribe anything beyond interoperability.

From a doctrinal point of view, these tactical air operations conducted by the PAF
generally mean close air support and tactical airlift/helilift. “Air interdiction/battlefield air
interdiction (AI/BAI)” was never emphasized in all PAF tactical air operations because of
the PAF’s lack of familiarity with Air Force concepts. This illustrates that there is a
doctrinal disconnection on the issue of conducting CAS and AI/BAI, and in the
employment of tactical air power, as a whole. Thus the AFP has not fully appreciated the
real strength of tactical air power. The PAF must be able to close the gap between the
doctrine and its execution. It has to do in order for the AFP to maximize the benefits it can
obtain from projecting tactical air power and recognize its effectiveness.

In 1995 Republic Act No. 7898, also known as the AFP Modernization Act, was
signed into Law. Under the law, the AFP shall embark on a modest modernization program
that seeks to improve its capabilities. One of the major components of this program is
Doctrines Development1. The AFP, along this line, is thoroughly reviewing, evaluating and
validating its existing doctrines and formulating new ones in anticipation of changes in
strategic, operational and tactical procedures that shall result from the Modernization

Likewise, under this program the PAF shall modernize and strengthen its strategic
and tactical capability; but given the limited funds for modernization and the continuing
internal security problem, it must employ strategies matched to these limited means.
Thus, the PAF as a small air force must employ small air force strategies in an innovative,
intelligent and flexible way. Given the constraints, the AFP must develop its tactical air
operations capability in accordance with its strategic function and must be within the
framework of the Modernization Program.

The aim of this paper is to present a thorough analysis and generate additional
thought and suggestions on the essential capabilities and requirement of the PAF in
tactical air operations (with emphasis on joint operations) and to illustrate its relevance to
strategic air power as a small air force.
This paper discusses the evolution of tactical air power, and how tactical air
operations has become a focal and potent function of air power for the PAF. It examines
the current tactical air operations capability of the PAF and explains why it was labeled a
tactical force. This paper offers some suggestions in the application of tactical air power
for the PAF as a small air force, but with the end view of demonstrating its strategic
impact. It is written as an input to the air power doctrine development process and
encourages other views along less conventional lines.

Chapter One will present how tactical air operations came into being, its
importance and application as an instrument of air power. It will discuss how it has proven
its effectiveness in general and limited war. More so, it will discuss the roles of close air
support, battlefield air interdiction, and tactical airlift in these classes of war. Then it will
discuss the characteristics of tactical air power, with emphasis on limited war to focus this
paper on the prevailing Philippine scenario.

Chapter Two will discuss the concurrent campaigns of the PAF in tactical
operations particularly in internal security operations. It will discuss how tactical air
operations became its primary role. It will present the role of close air support, battlefield
air interdiction and tactical airlift as an effective means of projecting tactical air power and
will also discuss the impact of tactical air operations on the PAF. It will present some
points on the fact that tactical capability is a component of, and inherent to, strategic
capability. Finally, it will explain the strategic effect of tactical air power.

Chapter Three will present a proposal on the application of tactical air power for
the Philippine Air Force as a small air force. It will discuss views on the role of the PAF –
how it can project air power as an independent air force. Furthermore, it will offer
suggestions on the employment of tactical air power and discuss the roles necessary for
effective and efficient use, with emphasis on joint operations. It will present the
capabilities and tasks needed to provide optimal support to internal and external defense
operations. It will also cover the organization, particularly the command and control of its
air assets. It will present all of these within the context of the Modernization Program.

Chapter Four will explore the future of tactical air power. It will discuss the future
role of tactical air operations, as it will remain necessary to operations in the non-linear
battlefield of tomorrow. It will discuss some changes in operational doctrine that will
serve into the future of tactical air forces. It will also present some issues on the
challenges the PAF will be facing and it will attempt to correlate these challenges to the
application of tactical air power by the PAF in the near future.

Chapter Five will conclude by highlighting the essential issues presented in the
previous chapters. It will also reinforce the importance of maintaining the strategic
capability of the PAF in spite of its shift from external to internal defense mode and will
stress the need for the PAF to perform an independent role. It will attempt to discuss the
strategic impact tactical air operations may bring considering the PAF is a small air force.

The New Chief Of Air Staff

"A Change For A Better Air Force"
Colonel Jaime M Viernes O-6262 PAF (GSC) was
designated Chief of Air Staff on August 26, 2002. He is also the
Chairman of various PAF Boards and Special Committees. He
is an Ex-Officio member of the PAF Modernization Board and
Vice-Chairman of the PAF Doctrine Board.

As the new Chief of Air Staff, he seeks to maintain good

and effective teamwork among the Functional Staff. He
believes there is an urgent need to equip the PAF with the
necessary means for credible external defense and national
security. He intends to lay the necessary ground work and
foundation for the implementation of projects and programs to
advance our Modernization agenda.

At this time when the Philippine Air Force is beset with serious materiel
limitations, his optimism regarding the PAF's capabilities were echoed when he said:

We must not dwell too much on the sad state of the PAF today. It’s a matter of
having the right perspective. Unlike the Israelites who looked at Goliath and thought, “He’s
so big we can never kill him!”, we should be like David who looked at the same giant and
thought, “He’s so big, I can’t miss.”

Colonel Viernes was born in Gabur, Vintar, Ilocos Norte on November 24, 1950.
Upon graduation from the Philippine Military Academy in 1972, he joined the Philippine Air
Force. Throughout his military career, Colonel Viernes has shown exceptional leadership
and managerial skills as manifested by his outstanding performance in the various
positions that he held in the Philippine Air Force and at General Headquarters - most
notable of which were as Group Commander of the 300 Air Intelligence and Security
Group, Defence and Armed Force Attaché to Brunei, Assistant Chief of Air Staff for
Personnel (A-1) and as Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Intelligence (A-2) prior to his present

His first assignment was as Civic Action Officer at Task Force Isarog in the Bicol
region. After earning his wings from the Philippine Air Force Flying School in 1973, he was
th th
assigned to the 206 Air Transport Squadron, 205 Composite Wing, then stationed in
Nichols Air Base, Pasay City, where he earned his qualification as a C-47 “Gooney Bird”
pilot in 1974.
Colonel Viernes started his venture in the field of intelligence in 1978 when he took
the Intelligence Officer’s Basic Course and Military Intelligence Collection Course at the
Special Intelligence Training School. He then served in various capacities with the 303
Air Reconnaissance Squadron as Recon Photo Pilot, Air Operations and Training Officer,
Personnel and Admin Officer, Executive Officer and Squadron Commander, among others.

In 1980, he pursued his Photographic Officer’s Course at the Royal Australian Air
Force in Canberra, Australia where he was an Outstanding Graduate. After his Squadron
Officer’s Course in 1984, he took the Photo Reconnaissance Interpretation Enhancement
Program Pilot Course from the US Government Special Training Group, USA Group during
the same year.

In 1989, he took his Command and General Staff Course at the United States Air
Force Air University in Maxwell Air Base, Alabama, USA where he graduated with

His first HPAF assignment was with the Office of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff for
Intelligence (A-2) as the Director for Operations in May 1990. After almost a year, he was
designated as Deputy Group Commander of the 300 Air Intelligence and Security Group.
He then became the Group Commander, AISG in 1993. In July 1996, he was assigned with
Intelligence Service Armed Forces of the Philippines, GHQ, AFP as the Defence and Armed
Force Attaché to Brunei.

He went back to Headquarters Philippine Air Force in November 1999 to assume

greater responsibilities as the Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Personnel (A-1) until May
2000. Subsequently, he served as the Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Intelligence (A-2) until
August 2002. As Chief of Intelligence, he focused on the enhancement of the PAF’s
imagery and signal intelligence and intensified aerial photography and reconnaissance
missions to support national security, law enforcement and economic development

Now as Chief of Air Staff, he has a better outlook for the advancement of
modernization projects for the Air Force. He hopes to help build a better Air Force in line
with the new command direction to move onward, forward and skyward..