Brief spotlight on the role of the armed forces in the Haiyan disaster relief and rescue operations

I remember the aftermath of the 1991 earthquake in Baguio City.  The City had been isolated for several hours and locals anxiously scanned the skies every second for signs of saviors and when people glimpsed the gleam of helicopters you could hear the collective sigh of relief and gratefulness.  You’d think St. Michael was coming.

My personal bias is to the Air Force because my childhood dream was to become a fighter pilot and my fascination over fighter pilots, jets and helicopters hasn’t dwindled.  We know that the flying potentials of the men and women of the Philippine Air Force are limited by the lack of more sophisticated machines but still they do their job.

So thank you to them (let’s not forget their kin, the police) for making that personal choice of career and vocation and living up to the standards of the profession.  For pledging their productive lives to protect the people and actually doing so, they deserve the best:  the purchase of necessary tools of the trade, the best housing package, for starters.  It is disheartening to see soldiers and their families in houses that are worth less than the value of their pledge.

Soldiers unloading boxes of relief goods aboard a C-130 to be distributed among the typhoon victims in Leyte Province. Courtesy of PAFAcer Francis Karem Elazegui Neri PAFFS CL’95. via Pinoy Aviators.
Aircrew of the UH-1H Huey unloading relief goods on a seaside Barangay somewhere in Leyte. via Pinoy Aviators.
US Marines and Members of the Philippine National Police helps unload needed relief goods aboard the CH-46 Sea Knight Helicopter. Courtesy of PAFAcer Francis Karem Elazegui Neri PAFFS CL’95. via Pinoy Aviators..

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