August 06, 2022 By Francis G. Pallarco Photos By by Kai Huang

FIGHTER ALLEY Who’s the Top Gun in the Philippines?

It has always been the dream of boys to drive a monster truck or fly in a fighter jet.  Inspired by the recent Top Gun: Maverick movie, the team at Wheel Gallery – the Official Distributor of Method Race Wheels – thought it would be awesome to showcase their 4×4 rigs beside the Top Guns of the Philippine Air Force. This was made a reality with the help of Col. Edison “Bong” Nebrija, Commander New Task Force Special Operations and Anti Colorum Unit of the MMDA who was a formal Naval Aviator himself. He connected the team with the Philippine Air Force and after much scrutiny, approval was granted for an epic photoshoot with the 5th Fighter Wing of the Philippine Air Force at our very own “Fightertown” – Basa Air Base in Floridablanca, Pampanga.

It was also very timely to showcase the latest arsenal of the Philippine Air Force as they celebrate their 75th Anniversary this year. Basa Air Base is home of the 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron – one of the flying units under the 5th Fighter Wing which is assigned to operate the FA-50PH Fighting Eagle light combat aircraft.  These fighter jets that were recently acquired by the Philippine Air Force have been put to use during the Marawi siege and proved to be a “game changer” to provide close air support mission roles. The fighter jets developed in South Korea have a maximum speed of Mach 1.5. “We are very thankful to the Philippine Air Force for giving us this opportunity to witness first-hand the technological advances and modernization of our country’s Air Force. Just like our off-road vehicles, we always want the latest technologies and innovative gear such as Method Race Wheels to get our occasional weekend off-road “missions” done safely. The modernization of the Philippine Air Force also embodies the motto of Method Race Wheels: Lighter. Stronger. Faster.” says Sam Liuson, President of Wheel Gallery.

The highly skilled and trained pilots of the Philippine Air Force go through rigorous training and are equipped with flight simulators to sharpen their reflexes and capabilities.  The jets take off almost on a daily basis to ensure their preparedness and effectiveness against any threat to our skies. “It was an honor to have our off-road rigs with Method Race Wheels stand beside the FA-50PH Fighting Eagle.  In recent calamities, our rigs have also been tapped to deliver relief goods to far flung places which need 4×4 capabilities and we have also seen how the Philippine Air Force responds swiftly to those in need. We salute the brave men and women in the Philippine Air Force for their service to our country,” concludes Sam.

Special thank you to the CG, PAF LTGEN Connor D. Canlas Sr. PAF, to the Wing Commander, 5th Fighter Wing, BGEN Pedro S. Francisco III PAF, Deputy Wing Commander Col. Leo A. Fontanilla PAF (MNSA) who was on Acting Capacity as the Wing Commander of the 5th Fighter Wing during the activity, to Acting Director for Operations, 5FW LTC Villamor B. Costales Jr. PAF, to the men and women especially to those support personnel involved during the photoshoot. So who are the Top Guns of the Philippines?  Apparently, the names are confidential as they only use their call signs.  Not everyone can be called Maverick, but it’s good to know we have these capable men and women over our skies. In the meantime, you can set up your own adventure rig with Method Race Wheels and be ready for your next adventure. For more info, visit Concept One Wheels at 318 Santolan Road, San Juan or follow them on social media @conceptonewheels.ph

 

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