Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base

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Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base
Part of Philippine Air Force
Located at Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines
Coordinates 10°18′48″N 123°58′58″E / 10.31333°N 123.98278°E / 10.31333; 123.98278 (Mactan Airbase)
Type Air Base
Site information
Owner  Philippines
Controlled by Philippine Air Force
Condition active, as of 2014
Site history
Built September 1, 1961
Built by  United States
In use  Philippines
Garrison information
Garrison
  • 208th Tactical Helicopter Squadron
  • 205th Tactical Operations Wing
  • 220th Airlift Wing
  • 5052nd Search and Rescue Squadron
  • 505th Search and Rescue Group
  • 1304th Dental Dispensary
  • 560th Air Base Wing
Mactan Air Base
IATA: CEBICAO: RPVM
Summary
Airport type Military
Owner Philippine National Government
Operator Philippine Air Force
Serves Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines
Built 1961
Elevation AMSL 75 ft / 23 m
Coordinates 10°18′48″N 123°58′58″E / 10.31333°N 123.98278°E / 10.31333; 123.98278Coordinates: 10°18′48″N 123°58′58″E / 10.31333°N 123.98278°E / 10.31333; 123.98278
Map
Mactan Air Base is located in Philippines
Mactan Air Base
Mactan Air Base
Location in the Philippines
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
04/22 10,827 3,300 Concrete/Asphalt

Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base (IATA: CEBICAO: RPVM) is located on Mactan Island in Cebu, Philippines, and shares a runway with the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. It was built by and was a facility of the United States Air Force until the American military bases left the country in the 1990s and it became a Philippine Air Force base.'[1]

Location[edit]

Mactan Air Base is located on Mactan Island, off Cebu City in the province Cebu in the Central Visayas. Mactan Island is best known as being the location where the Spanish explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, died during his circumnavigation of the earth.[2]

History[edit]

Mactan Air Base began life as an emergency field for the American Strategic Air Command bombers to recover in the event of a war. This emergency field was basically barren with only a few permanent structures and a 10,000-foot concrete runway. By 1965, the only permanent structures on the field were a Philippine Air Force (PAF) operations building-cum-airline terminal and the PAF BOQ. There was also a squadron of PAF F-86s on base.

As the Vietnam War escalated, the base was rapidly built up. At its height, it became a permanent C-130 base housing at least the 772nd and 774th Troop Carrier Squadrons of the 463rd Troop Carrier Wing (later renamed as "Tactical Airlift" Squadrons and Wing) as well as becoming a crew rest stop for C-124 and C-133 crews to relieve congestion at Clark Air Base. The C-124 Operations Squadron was the 606th Military Airlift Support Squadron or 606th MASS.

After the war, the base was transferred to the Philippine Air Force.[3]

During the Mindanao campaign in the 1970s Mactan Air Base the base was extensively used for fighter operations against targets in Mindanao region by the Philippine Air Force.

In June 1996, Mactan Air Base was renamed Brig Gen Benito N Ebuen Air Base in honor of a Philippine Air Force Commanding General.

On the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda, Cebu was designated the hub of logistics for rescue and relief efforts, the base has seen a continuous flow of helicopters and jumbo cargo aircraft. Each day, at least 10 are parked in the base including V22 Ospreys of the US Marines to C-130 planes of different air forces of countries extending aid. Bigger aircraft like the C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster, B747 freighters and the Russian-made Antonov landed in the base.

Current status[edit]

This air base is responsible for the Transport Wing, and provides for PAF operations in the Visayas area.[4]

Stationed at the base in 2009 were the 208th Tactical Helicopter Squadron, 205th Tactical Operations Wing and the 220th Airlift Wing, along with the 5052nd Search and Rescue Squadron of the 505th Search and Rescue Group and the 1304th Dental Dispensary. The Headquarters Administrative Squadron from the 205th Tactical Operations Wing and the 560th Air Base Wing handle logistics.[5]

References[edit]

See also[edit]