MANILA - The Japanese government is looking to give the Philippines their “retired” helicopters, Philippine Army commanding general Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. said Wednesday.
According to Brawner, this is to help beef up the Philippine Army’s capabilities.
The proposal was made during the trilateral meeting of the ground forces of the Philippines, Japan and the United States in Japan last December.
“Last December, the Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) commanding general invited the ground forces of the Philippines and the US to Japan. A trilateral meeting was held... [and] we agreed that we will all cooperate to strengthen the relationship we have among ground forces,” Brawner told reporters at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City.
“We were asked what we needed to beef up the capability of the Philippine Army... So I told Gen. Yoshida, the Philippine Army needs aircraft, particularly helicopters. He said that they will look into the possibility of giving the Philippine Army a grant of helicopters,” he added.
Brawner was referring to General Yoshihide Yoshida, the chief of the JGSDF.
But the Army chief made it clear that nothing has been finalized yet "but at least there is hope for the Philippine Army to get these platforms."
Brawner noted that although the helicopters are “retired,” they would still be “usable” and “reliable.”
He added, should Japan push through with the grant, the helicopters will be used only for non-combat activities.
“These helicopters will not be used for combat. Instead, they will be used for supplying troops and air evacuation of wounded troops and similar non-combat activities,” said Brawner. “There’s no number yet but we are requesting for more than one.”