Australian spy planes giving surveillance support to military in Marawi
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the spy plane of Australia Defense Force (ADF) are giving surveillance support for the Armed Forces of the Philippine (AFP) forces operating against the terrorist group in Marawi City.
Lorenzana said two AP-3C Orion aircraft began flying last week.
“It started last Friday and it will be here for two weeks so they are still flying, in shifting schedule,” Lorenzana said.
Lorenzana said the P3 Orion aircraft from Australia also operates even during night time “because P3 Orions can fly for 24 hours.”
Lorenzana said there are Filipino pilots and technicians in the ADF plane every time it operates in Mindanao.
“In their aircraft, we have our pilots and technicians there who will rely through the signals going to the general headquarters or to Zamboanga, then our people in Zamboanga, here, will transmit the images that were captured by the P3 Orion to our troops in Marawi,” he explained.
Lorenzana said President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted the offer from the Australian government to provide surveillance support to government troops in Marawi.
Lorenzana expressed his interest in acquiring such aircraft to further enhance the capability of the Philippine Air Force.
Lorenzana also confirmed the acquisition of bombs and rockets from United States.
“We sent a C130 to bring them here. These are ammunition for aircraft, not ammunition for the firearms” Lorenzana said.
“Even before Marawi happened we have stockpile of rockets and bombs which we were able to deplete, which ran out because of Marawi. So it’s just normal for us to stockpile again so for other purposes. It’s not just for Marawi as the (conflict in) Marawi is nearing its end,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS