PH Air Force’s UH-1H helicopters back in action to give aid to Typhoon Odette-hit localities in Visayas, Mindanao

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The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has resumed restricted operations with its UH-1H “Huey” combat utility helicopters, which had been grounded and stored in order to assist with ongoing relief efforts in the Visayas and Mindanao provinces hit by Typhoon Odette.

Following a tragic crash that killed at least six PAF troops in Bukidnon on January 16, 2021, the UH-1Hs were grounded and placed in storage.

“The UH-1H helicopters of the PAF are now being utilized in the humanitarian assistance and disaster response efforts in the aftermath of Typhoon Odette. After extensive maintenance checks and test flights, the UH-1H have been put on limited operation as a necessary step to aid our fellow countrymen by transporting relief goods in the Visayas area,” said PAF spokesperson Lt. Col. Maynard Mariano.

According to Lt. Col. Mariano, the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines have approved limited operations of these UH-1Hs for the following missions: humanitarian assistance and disaster response; rapid damage assessment and needs analysis; medical evacuation and transport of COVID-19 Vaccines and medical equipment; and training and maintenance flights.

“The UH-1H fleet took off for the first HADR mission on December 28, 2021. PAF personnel and its air assets have been working round-the-clock in providing relief operations to areas affected by Typhoon Odette,” Mariano said.

“It is through the sheer determination and ardent desire of our airmen to serve and their obligation to fulfill their duty to the country made these things possible, ‘That Others May Live’,” he added.

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