Editors Note: The Communist New People’s Army has issued a statement this week condemning what it called as a planned aerial bombardment by the Army in the upland villages of Calatrava town deep in the Mandalagan Mountain Range.
Negrenses have been witness to intensified military operations in the island especially during the Aquino I government in the 1980s.
The military operations codenamed Oplan Thunderbolt and Rolling Thunder involved shelling operations of countryside communities where rebels used to hide like in the Umas complex in southern Negros Occidental.
Mountain folk also became familiar with the UH1H Huey and other attack aircraft of the Philippine military.
The military has seen significant upgrades under President Duterte’s six years in office, including the buying of new aircraft and getting new bombs and bomb kits that defense experts claim greatly improve the accuracy of airstrikes and bring down collateral damage.
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The OV10 Bronco is a legacy aircraft that is still in the inventory of the country’s Air Force and had been used mainly for counterinsurgency operations and close air support for ground troops.
Eight OV10 Broncos are now serving in the Philippines as light attack aircraft.
It mounts 7.62mm machine guns and can carry four 500-pound bombs or rocket pods, making it a “well equipped” plane, according to the The World Encyclopedia of Modern Aircraft Armament.
It has a top speed of 288 miles per hour and a range of 1,400 miles and has the advantage of having two engines, “giving it far more staying power if hit,” an article on the We Are The Mighty webpage said.
The article added the Broncos still in service with the Air Force are “hand-me-downs” from both the United States and Thailand.
The Broncos were used in bombing runs against the Maute-ISIS Group in the government’s offensive in Marawi, Mindanao along with the FA50, a supersonic light combat aircraft from South Korea.
The Air Force has also brought into service six A-29B Super Tucano light attack planes that are in service in at least 15 countries.
It is also used by the United States in at least 50 countries where American special forces operate.
(To be continued)