C130 aircraft, strategic sealift vessels among assets for possible evacuation of Filipinos from Middle East

Among the possible assets that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) may deploy, in case it needs to support evacuation of Filipinos from the Middle East as tension between United States and Iran rises, are Philippine Air Force (PAF)’s C-130 aircraft and Philippine Navy’s transport and logistics vessels.

Among the possible Navy vessels that can be deployed are Tarlac-class strategic sealift vessels BRP Tarlac (LD-601) and BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602), two Bacolod City-class logistic vessels BRP Dagupan City (LS-551) and BRP Bacolod City (LS-550).

“We are improving our plans just to cover everything just in case but right now we are ready to deploy anytime when the indicators show and the decision of the government for us to deploy, we will deploy immediately,” newly installed AFP Chief-of-Staff Lieutenant General Felimon Santos Jr. said as quoted by PNA.

On January 5, President Duterte called an emergency meeting with high ranking defense and security officials to tackle the Middle East situation to ensure safety of Filipinos.

“The President has tasked the AFP to prepare its air and naval assets to evacuate and bring home our countrymen if and when open hostilities erupt in the Middle East that may endanger their lives,” DND said.

The Office of the President said that the President also tasked concerned agencies to prepare for any possible impact of the recent developments on the Philippines.