THE Philippine Air Force (PAF) ‘s only active C-130 “Hercules” aircraft successfully landed in Sulu on Friday, December 10, 2021, five months and six days after the tragic crash of a similar aircraft in the province.
Lieutenant General Alfredo Rosario, Jr., commander of Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom, said on Saturday December 11 that the Lockheed C-130 “Hercules” plane with tail number 5011 was carrying passengers from Manila to Jolo, Sulu.
On its return to Manila from Jolo, the plane was carrying 65 soldiers, who took advantage of their Christmas break starting December 13, 2021.
Also on board the same plane three military dependents and two civilians.
âThis is our simple way of honoring the selfless service of our fellow soldiers. By sending them home safely to spend the holiday season with their families, we can lift their spirits, âsaid Rosario.
âWe are also able to help them financially by providing them with free transportation,â Rosario added.
It can be remembered that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFR) suffered heavy losses when one of the most tragic aircraft crashes in Philippine military history occurred on July 4, killing 50 and three civilians.
The C-130 plane with tail number 5125, which was carrying 96 soldiers, crashed in Sitio Amman in the village of Bangkal, Patikul, Sulu after an attempted landing at Jolo Airport from the town of Cagayan de Oro.
âThe plane’s successful landing on Friday means we are ready to move forward,â said Major General William Gonzales, commander of Joint Task Force-Sulu.
“We hope that this momentous event will completely heal us from the trauma we had as a result of the accident on July 4,” added Gonzales.
To date, PAF has one Lockheed C-130 Hercules in active service while the other two are in maintenance.
The C-130 aircraft is a four-turboprop US military transport aircraft used as a troop and cargo transport. (SunStar Zamboanga)