MANILA – One of the Philippine Air Force’s Bell 412 combat utility helicopters served as aerial platform for the troops participating in the gas-oil platform takedown (GOPLAT) exercises off Matinloc in El Nido, Palawan.
PAF spokesperson Col. Ma. Consuelo Castillo said the exercise’s objective was to develop mutual defense capability and strengthen the country’s maritime security.
The helicopter was from the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing and deployed to help in executing the so-called fast rope insertion and extraction system (FRIES) last April 16.
“FRIES” is a specialized mechanical system that enables rapid tactical insertion and extraction of personnel in areas where helicopter landings are not permissible.
“The demonstration involved the protection of a retired Matinloc platform, which served as a stand-in for the Malampaya platform. The Bell 412 helicopter facilitated the vertical insertion of the elite assault troops from the Naval Special Operations Unit (NAVSOU) through ‘FRIES’,” she added.
Participants in the GOPLAT exercises also include the Philippine Navy and witnessed by US military counterparts as observers. (PNA)