Tuesday, 05 October 2010
LIEUTENANT COLONEL EDGARD A AREVALO PN(M)
Director, Naval Public Affairs Office
1. On the issue of alleged collusion: the Navy provided the technical specifications of the heli considering the peculiarities of Fleet-Marine operations that require those air assets. The specs originating from the inputs of the end users (like the Naval Air Group and the Sailors and Marines in the frontline) were submitted to higher headquarters thru channel-- passing through the Technical Working Group to Weapons Systems Board of the Navy-- all the way to similar offices at GHQ going to DND. It isn't possible to influence the specs to suit a particular manufacturer in that bottom-up process. Given the specs, there certainly are other companies who can comply, but the budget that the AFP has for the heli could be that major delimiting cause why other bidders may have backed out as in this case.
2. On the issue of the impact that the deferment would have in Naval operations: We hope that the issue can be resolved really soon. We have an acute need for air assets like helicopters. Right now, we do not have any helicopter. Considering the requirements we have for these helis in consideration, such as Search and Rescue, resupply, deployment of personnel during combat and counter-terrorism operations the need is urgent.
3. The Navy, however, defers to the decision of higher headquarters for a process that may be required for the procurement of these much-needed aircraft for the Naval Air Group.