Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base
|Brigadier General Benito N. Ebuen Air Base|
|Part of Philippine Air Force|
|Located at Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines|
|Controlled by||Philippine Air Force |
United States Air Force (under jurisdiction of Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement)
|Condition||active, as of 2014|
|Built||September 1, 1961|
|Built by||United States|
Mactan Air Base
|Owner||Philippine National Government|
|Operator||Philippine Air Force|
|Serves||Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines|
|Elevation AMSL||23 m / 75 ft|
Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base (IATA: CEB, ICAO: 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 1991 and it became a Philippine Air Force (PAF) base.
Mactan Air Base is located on Mactan Island, off Cebu City in the province of Cebu in the Central Visayas. Mactan Island is best known as being the location where the Spanish explorer, Ferdinand Magellan was killed by the forces of Lapu-lapu during his circumnavigation of the earth.
In 1945 Acorn 51 was assigned as the development unit for an airfield at Cebu. The Seabees of the 54th Naval Construction Battalion had the job of constructing the runway and support facilities. After WWII the American Strategic Air Command used Mactan as an emergency field in the event of a war. The 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.
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.
In the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda, Cebu was designated the hub of logistics for rescue and relief efforts and the base saw a continuous flow of helicopters and jumbo cargo aircraft. Each day, at least 10 were parked in the base including V-22 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, 747 freighters and the Russian-made An-124 landed in the base.
This air base is responsible for the Transport Wing, and provides for PAF operations in the Visayas area.
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.
- "Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base". www.globalsecurity.org.
- "Navigator Ferdinand Magellan killed in the Philippines". History.com. July 21, 2010.
- Acorn 51, NHHC misc Seabee cruisebooks, NHHC Washington Navy Yard, 1022 O Street SE, Washington, D.C. 
- "Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base". Philippine Air Force. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
- "Bases". www.angelfire.com.
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