Military honors were rendered to honor Igorot rescue pilot Major Jessie Miller Jr., who along with three other Philippine Air Force(PAF) personnel, perished last September 16 when their Sikorsky S-76A air ambulance rotary aircraft from the 505th Search and Rescue Group crashed in Barangay Upper Manggas in Lantawan, Basilan.
The Sikorsky air ambulance helicopter with tail number 202 departed from Edwin Andrew Air Base in Zamboanga City and was heading to Jolo, Sulu for a medical evacuation mission when it crashed.
The remains of Miller arrived in Baguio City on Saturday, (Sept.19) from the Clark Air Base after it was flown from Mindanao.
Upon arrival at the Loakan Airport, the PAF Tactical Operations Group 1 rendered military honors to Maj. Miller before bringing him to his residence in Kias.
Family, friends and officers and PAF personnel, the Tactical Operations Group 1, the Philippine Military Academy and members of the PMA MASIDLAK Class of 2010 gathered to pay their final respects and honor the valuable service to the nation of the fallen hero.
Miller who hailed from Sagada, Mountain Province, was a member of the PMA “MASIDLAK” Class of 2010.
His father, Jessie Miller Sr., emotionally shared that he was the one who convinced his son to join the PMA to follow his footsteps in the military service as he served as an enlisted personnel. Moreover, PMA offers free quality education and assures a job immediately after graduation.
PAF Captain Kendrich Pia of the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing, reminisced their days at the PMA when they both started as cadets until they graduated and became pilots serving the country as rescue helicopter pilots.
The Sagada municipal government thru the leadership of Mayor James Pooten also offered sympathies to thei “kailian” or town mate. (JDP/RMC-PIA CAR)
By Redjie Melvic Cawis