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AFP to show credible defense posture with fleet review, flyby off Bataan

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The Armed Forces is set to hold a fleet review and flyby of air assets in waters off Morong, Bataan, to show what it has attained so far in its goal to better defend the country.

“Para malaman ng bayan na marami na rin tayong gamit pandigma,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a text message, when asked what the defense and military establishments what to project with the activity.

According to the military, a total of 63 air and naval assets will participate in the activity, which will be held tomorrow as among events under the AFP’s 85th anniversary on December 21.

Morong, a town facing the West Philippine Sea, is about 280 kilometers or 151 nautical miles away from disputed Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal.

Among the vessels slated for the event is the Navy’s newest ship BRP Jose Rizal, a guided missile frigate; the offshore patrol ship BRP Ramon Alcaraz; and the corvette BRP Emilio Jacinto.

Also participating are the landing platform dock BRP Davao del Sur and the landing craft BRP Batak, which will carry armored personnel carriers of the Army and Marines.

The flotilla will also include the patrol boat BRP Abraham Campo and presidential yacht BRP Ang Pangulo.

The Navy’s other landing platform dock, BRP Tarlac, was designated as a viewing ship for officials who will attend. Lorenzana is scheduled to be the event’s guest of honor and speaker.

According to the AFP, a total of 36 aircraft will join the flyby.

These include three FA-50 lead-in fighter jets and two Black Hawk helicopters of the Air Force, as well as two AW159 anti-submarine helicopters of the Navy and three AW109 attack helicopters.

Navy spokesperson LCdr. Ma. Christina Roxas said all participating vessels will be moving during the review and will be met by the viewing ship.

“We will be showing the capabilities, jointness of the major services and the credible defense posture of the AFP,” she said.

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