PAF fighter pilot deserves Metrobank’s ‘Outstanding Filipino’ award

By Priam Nepomuceno

August 20, 2018, 4:04 pm

MANILA -- Philippine Air Force (PAF) fighter pilot Lt. Col. Thomas Ryan Seguin, one of the service's best and a Marawi Siege veteran, deserves to be among the three military personnel selected for this year's Metrobank Foundation's "The Outstanding Filipinos".

"(Seguin) is (really) deserving of the award. (Siya ay) magaling (good), very professional and hardworking," PAF spokesperson Major Aris Galang said in a text message to the Philippine News Agency Monday.

"Magaling na piloto, prepared lagi before lumipad. Mataas na level ng skills niya kaya very matured sa liparan (He is a good pilot. He is always prepared before flight. His level of skills are high and this makes him matured in terms of flight experience)," Galang said, quoting one of Seguin's fellow pilots at the 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron when asked on the awardee's flying abilities.

Seguin is the commander of the 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron, a component of the Floridablanca, Pampanga-based 5th Fighter Wing, which played a key role in the five-month long Marawi Siege that started May 23, 2017 and ended in October.

Seguin is a graduate of Philippine Military Academy Class of 1999 and is the Number 4 graduate of his batch.

Seguin was cited for flying 134 out of the 156 total air-to-ground attack missions in the conflict.

This amounts to 267 bombs dropped in total equivalent to 134,000 pounds of explosives.

Aside from flying the above-mentioned missions, Seguin also directed aerial missions vital in securing Marawi City against the Maute Group terrorists due to the limited number of pilots equipped for command.

"In the face of overwhelming odds, Lt. Col. Seguin masterfully exemplified composure under fire – flying134 out of the 156 total air-to-ground attack missions over Marawi’s main battle area. Given the limited number of pilots equipped for command, Lt. Col. Seguin had to steer these missions day and night, over bodies of water, despite the impending risks brought about by unfavorable winds and weather conditions, and limited air visibility due to nighttime darkness and ground fires," Seguin's Metrobank citation read.

Constant PAF support to ground units in Marawi is instrumental in the neutralization of numerous local and foreign terrorists, including leaders of the Abu Sayyaf and Maute Group terrorists.

Seguin is also instrumental in the training of a new generation of PAF fighter pilots.

"His efforts to enhance and intensify pilot training resulted to a total of 25 combat and mission ready pilots in PAF’s 5th Fighter Wing. This benefited not only the careers of these pilots as they progressed in the qualification ladder, but also the operational readiness of PAF—having significantly augmented their current roster of professionally trained pilots responsive to air operations for national defense," the citation added. (PNA)