USAF deploys AC-130Js, MQ-9As to the Philippines 

Aircraft from the 27th Special Operations Wing (SOW), based at Cannon AFB in New Mexico, will be supporting the Philippine-led Exercise Balikatan throughout April

A pair of AC-130J Ghostrider fixed-wing gunships belonging to the 17th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) and MQ-9A Reaper remotely piloted aircraft systems belonging to the 3rd SOS has deployed for Balikatan with assistance from the 12th SOS. Exercise Balikatan - which is a Tagalog term meaning 'shoulder-to-shoulder' or 'sharing the load together' - is the largest bilateral exercise conducted by the Philippines and the US to date. This exercise takes place shortly after the USAF deployed fifth-generation Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor fighters to the Philippines for the first time.  

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