Philippine Talks Progressing As Relief Ops Wind Down

As the Defense Department’s relief efforts in the Philippines wind down following last months deadly typhoon, talks continue in Manila regarding the future of US military rotations and presence in the country. The US will not return in large numbers to its garrisons at Clark AFB, Philippines, or Subic Bay Naval Base, Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Hawk Carlisle said in his recent address to AFA’s Pacific Air and Space Symposium in Los Angeles, because the Filipinos don’t want it. There also are space and commercial development limitations, he added. Instead, USAF presence in the country will be rotational and will likely go to other areas, which are co-located with Philippine Armed Forces activities. What was Clark AFB is now “Air Force City,” Carlisle said in a recent interview with the Daily Report, a privately run airport with a host of commercial activities surrounding the area. “They have been hugely successful at it,” he said. Manila Airport also is congested and there is little room to expand, added Carlisle. PACAF and US Pacific Command officials have noted other locations being examined, including airfields at nearby Cubi Point and Basa Air Base—a Philippine Air Force installation to the north, as well as locations south of Manila. PACAF has built a good relationship with the PAF, and the two air forces “know what we can do together,” Carlisle said.