US troops may soon return to Clark, Subic

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WASHINGTON and Manila are working out an agreement that will allow American forces to bring in military equipment and other equipment to two former US bases—Subic Naval Base and Clark Air Base, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said on Thursday.

The agreement does not mean that the Philippine government plans additional bases in Subic for the joint use of American and Filipino forces, Gazmin was quick to point out.

“Right now the agreement has not been firmed up, we are in the process of crafting the agreement based on our Constitution and the Visiting Forces Agreement,” he said.

Once the issues like access are ironed out ”then there will be equipment coming in from the United States,” he said.


Gazmin said the same agreement may later be applied to Japanese forces, in accordance with existing protocols.

President Benigno Aquino 3rd earlier said the Philippines would welcome an increased US military presence, amid tense disputes with China over competing claims to parts of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

However, Gazmin’s comments indicated the Philippines was hoping to expand on the standard military exercises that the US and Manila forces regularly engage in.

“Modalities for the increased rotational presence are right now being examined. One modality is the conduct of high-value, high-impact exercise,” Gazmin said, without elaborating.

During his visit last year, the US Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, said the US will increase its presence in the Philippines and other parts of the Asia-Pacific to ensure peace and stability in the region.

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced also last year that the US will shift its naval forces in the Pacific by 2020 as part of America’s new strategic focus on Asia.

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4 Comments

  1. charlie jirch on

    . . . . this is a good start . . . . bring back the air and naval bases here in PH this will help the AFP and neutralize the communist chinks . . . .

  2. Pedro Gabriel on

    This should be a welcome news for all Filipinos. This should counter China’s expansionism and island grabbing scheme. Let us be realistic about this, we are a third world country, and if China decide to invade a few islands or the entire country our armed forces is no match to the power of the Dragon, it will be a turkey shoot. Let the US come in, it is better to deal with them than deal with China, prime example is the country of Tibet, China will never grant them independence. If the defensor Santiago and all her allies are against this move, let them come up with another solution or better yet she should be targeted for investigation as a sell out.

  3. Now we’re cooking. Should have been thought out long time ago, way before the Chinese staked claim to our Scarborough Shoals. May be reactive but still a laudable move. Two birds in one stone: one, in terms of national defense and security and two, in terms of business and economy. Checkmate, anyone?

  4. this is good news. not only it will boost our defense but also will create more business and jobs for the locals in subic and clark for resupply and repairs and maintenance of these assets of US and Japan forces.