CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Jan. 17) -- When I received a call from my previous squadron commander at 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing asking for volunteers to transfer to the 505th Search & Rescue Group (SRG), I never hesitated.
I just couldn’t pass up this once-in-a lifetime opportunity to become an “Angel.” As posted in my Facebook account, my fascination with Angels started when my wife referred to our two cute and beautiful daughters as “our angels.”
Joining the 505th SRG then literally meant myself becoming an “Angel” after the call sign used during rescue flights.
Flying tactical missions for more than five years had brought me a sense of personal accomplishment. I was living my dreams, having always wanted to become a pilot. Indeed, I meet a lot of people in this line of work who, like myself, are living out their dreams.
But I guess this is not enough. I have observed that most of those who are in a state of euphoria no longer have enough rooms to grow.
Most of those who stay too long in a certain unit have gone stagnant in the growth of their respective careers. It is not only answered my personal dream of becoming an angel, it also opened me to other realities of flying.
Doing search and rescue missions is an effective tool for civil-military operations as we can literally display that the Philippine Air Force, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the government as a whole have a lot more to offer other than fighting the enemies of the state.
Last year’s calamities caused by Typhoons Peping and Ondoy were primary examples. It gave the populace a lot of hope and sighs of relief knowing that their military is not only committed in fighting wars but also in saving lives.
When there are no calamities, the Angels reach out to people through the different Search and Rescue Auxiliaries. The conduct of SAR trainings and the mutual sharing of techniques keep them vigilant and prepared whenever calamities strike.
Through this, both the Auxiliaries, and our organic personnel as well who conducted the trainings turn out prepared.
As a pilot, I personally look forward to performing the different SAR technique proficiency training. The different scenarios result to a myriad of different lessons that can be learned from, as no scenarios can be alike during actual emergencies.
Unlike in tactical missions where pilots take most of the credit in the success of the mission, here at the 505th SRG, the pararescuers are in the front scene. Their faces and efforts are more visible to the public rather than the pilots flying the helicopters.
Other significant differences arose. I got used to dealing only with my co-pilot and crew. Now that I fly as an Angel, I had to consider the opinion of the jumpmasters.
Another is flying as a single aircraft, as I have gotten used to flying as an element, that is, having two aircrafts performing the same mission.
Flying as an Angel is not only a realization of a dream for me. With the warm welcome I received from both officers and enlisted personnel, I really felt at home. It felt like I was not a new guy to them. Most importantly, joining the Angels has broadened my horizon about my flying career and has given me an opportunity to grow. (Adapted from the Angel Magazine, December 2010 issue)
Editor’s note: Cpt. Roy Philip C. Aguhob was among the pilots reassigned from the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing to join the dwindling number of flyers at 505SRG. Other pilots from 205th THW who have recently joined the Group are the following: Cpt. Nelson B. Cruzado, Cpt. Igmedio M. Dacara, Jr., Cpt. Celito T. Balico and 1Lt. Rogelio A. Ombao, Jr. Welcome to the roster of Angels!