is daybreak, precisely 0600H on 17 January 2007 at Antonio Bautista Air Base, Puerto
Princesa City, Palawan.
The 7th Tactical Fighter
Squadron of the 5th Fighter Wing, Philippine Air Force is up and ready to
launch a flight of four (4) Multi-Role Fighters (MRF).
The four MRFs are well aligned inside the Air Defense Alert hangar, all configured
for a possible encounter over the Kalayaan Island Group.
Each MRF carries two Beyond Visual Range (BVR) air-to-air missiles in the outboards
and two anti-ship missiles in the inboards. All
have centerline fuel tanks for at least thirty minutes loiter time over Pag-asa Island.
The pilots appear to be in high spirits as they perform the final check before taxiing to
the active runway. The crew chiefs snappily
raise their thumbs up signaling the aircraft free of its tire chocks, armaments ready to
fire and the aircraft safe to go. At Runway
09, the aircraft are positioned directly in front of the rising sun in the east, roar and
roll by twos in formation, and disappear as swallowed by the brightness of the
rising summer sun.
As of January 2005, PROC is importing an average of one million
barrels of crude oil everyday. In order to promote rapid and sustained economic growth, it
is now high time for the Chinese to aggressively pursue their territorial claims in the
South China Sea to enable them to explore and extract the rich resources available
thereat. Earlier, discreet surveys conducted by the Chinese revealed the presence of
considerable amount of oil and natural gas deposits that could well support the mainland
in pursuing its avowed goal of becoming a strong and wealthy nation that is respected as a
great power in the world and as the preeminent power in Asia.
A highly reliable source of information revealed that the
Peoples Republic Of China (PROC) Central Military Commission has directed the
Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) to proceed with the immediate occupation of the
remaining islets, shoals and reefs in their claimed areas in the South China Sea. The
rapid industrialization in Mainland China coupled with the incessant increase in
population had severely depleted food and mineral resources particularly oil and natural
gas that would sustain its highly industrialized economy.