Japan to grant PH utility helicopters for calamity response

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 19) — Japan pledged to give the Philippines UH-1J utility helicopters during a bilateral meeting.

According to a statement released Dec. 19, the utility helicopters could be used for humanitarian assistance and disaster response, medical evacuation, transport of personnel and supplies and for damage assessment flights during national emergencies and calamities.

“The Philippines and Japan are within the Pacific Ring of Fire and we experienced so many disasters every year. By collaborating, all of our armies will be able to cooperate on ensuring that our people are safe as we face the various calamities that come to our land every year,” army chief Maj. Gen. Romeo Brawner, Jr. said.

The pledge was announced on Dec. 11 during the Japan-Philippine-U.S. Trilateral Key Leaders’ Engagement at Camp Asaka, Tokyo, Japan.

Through a government grant, the army is expected to receive the utility helicopters two to three years from now through the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.