The 2022 S-70i Black Hawk Flight Simulator Training for pilots of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) was launched at the Canadian Aviation Electronics (CAE) Brunei Multi-Purpose Training Centre (BMPTC) on August 29.
Ambassador of the Philippines to Brunei Darussalam Marian Jocelyn R Tirol-Ignacio, Philippine Defence and Armed Forces Attaché Colonel Angelo Gerard P Ariles, Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAirF) Commanding Officer No, 1 Wing (Operations) Lieutenant Colonel (U) Muhammad Walee bin Haji Roslie and CAE-BMPTC General Manager Rozman Junaidi attended the ceremony.
“The Philippine government conveys its appreciation to His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and the Ministry of Defence of Brunei Darussalam for its continuing active engagement and valuable contribution to the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” said the ambassador.
“This is a milestone in our bilateral defence relations with Brunei. Notwithstanding the strong and dynamic defence cooperation between our countries, the programme represents a practical option for S-70i Black Hawk training as PAF pilots need not proceed to outside the ASEAN region.
“It opens up more opportunities for PAF pilots and allows greater interaction and exchanges between our Armed Forces.”
During the activity, Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Walee welcomed the Philippine Air Force pilots and expressed the continued support of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, the RBAirF in particular, for future training cooperations.
An agreement was inked last year between the PAF and the RBAirF as part of the continuing implementation of a bilateral memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation signed in 2001 and was further enhanced during the bilateral meeting between the commanding general of the PAF and the commander of the RBAirF in Singapore last year. “The RBAirF will continue to be a valuable partner of the PAF in its quest for the continued modernisation of its air service, in the future we would be willing to welcome your pilots as well as other personnel involved in the operation of the S-70i Black Hawk aircraft for collaborative efforts in sharing our experiences with the said aircraft,” said Commander of the RBAirF Brigadier General (U) Dato Seri Pahlawan Mohd Sharif bin Dato Paduka Haji Ibrahim.
Ambassador Tirol-Ignacio expressed her appreciation to the RBAirF for the assistance of providing the Instructor Pilots for the PAF trainees as well as the opportunity to share the “lessons learnt” as well as the “best practices” in the utilisation and maintenance of the S70i Black Hawk aircraft.
The first batch of PAF arrived in Brunei from Manila on August 6, and the flight simulator training will be done in 14 batches.
Last year, the PAF brought 11 pilots to to the Sultanate to undergo the same type of recurrent training.
The training of the PAF pilots in Brunei is a good demonstration of regional partnership with a fellow ASEAN member state. Under a multi-year contract, subsequent batches of PAF pilots will participate in the programme in the next few years.
As part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ modernidation programme, the PAF has been continuing to acquire S-70i Black Hawk combat utility helicopters (CUH) that can be rapidly configured and deployed to perform various military and humanitarian missions.