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Thread: Subic Bay and Clark AFB to be reopened by the U.S. military?

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    the internet is serious business! Ought Six's Avatar
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    Arrow Subic Bay and Clark AFB to be reopened by the U.S. military?

    Philippine government gives OK for US to use old bases, newspaper reports

    http://www.*****es.com/news/pacific/...ports-1.179790

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
    Philippine government gives OK for US to use old bases, newspaper reports

    http://www.*****es.com/news/pacific/...ports-1.179790
    Things seem to be going full circle....

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    It wouldn't have happened if it weren't for the Chinese. Where's the political opposition now?

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    I was there (Subic) just two months ago thinking when this would have happened.
    It was not that difficult to imagine!

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    I'd guess that rather than dumping several thousand sailors into Subic, we'll just have some long-term US portion of the Phillipine Navy ports. Either a very small caretaker force, or no US personnel at all, until we need to support a large surge in the area. Basically a Forward Operating Site, kept "warm".

    Much of the infrastructure of both Subic and Clark simply doesn't exist anymore, or was repurposed for civilian activities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael F View Post
    I'd guess that rather than dumping several thousand sailors into Subic, we'll just have some long-term US portion of the Phillipine Navy ports. Either a very small caretaker force, or no US personnel at all, until we need to support a large surge in the area. Basically a Forward Operating Site, kept "warm".

    Much of the infrastructure of both Subic and Clark simply doesn't exist anymore, or was repurposed for civilian activities.
    To be honest......my GUESS is that even if the Philippines said "go crazy", I suspect the US would probably prefer to keep a light footprint there...and anywhere/everywhere they are welcome.

    I imagine the future of the Pacific for the US is a US Navy led effort to run a "3 Island War" version of the 3 Block War......and trying to stay very agile and very decentralized across the entire massive AO to avoid getting hit.

    So maybe rather than having a whole of eggs in a Philippine and Japanese basket it could be assets spread from Bangladesh to Myanmar to Singapore to Japan to Australia to Philippines to Thailand.

    Just speculation on my part.

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    Well the pattern was definitely there way before they made it official. Occasionally you'd see an F18 parked behind one of the hangars at Subic, one or two ships would stop by. Then US transport aircraft would come and go at Clark and Chinooks overfly Manila. It was a matter of time.

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    Senior Member junglejim's Avatar
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    Like I said before the US Navy is always present in Subic. There is always one or two ships docked there and the occasional Submarine, they are just making it official. It wont be a Naval base again though, just another port for the US.

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    America's refocus on Asia hasn't really hit me hard till the Shagri-La dialogue.
    Besides knowing that the new Littoral Combat ships will be based? here, your DefSec mentioned that 60% of the USN will be based in the Pacific. That was really surprising for me as I always presumed that the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea were the focus.

    Moreoever, the local news reported that the Phillipines MoD announced that they are interested in having a military agreement with us on joint training and exchange, something with what both countries have with the US.

    Apparently, we had such an agreement before, but the plan was scrapped 2 years in as there was some sort of legal issue with the Filipino parliament?

    The next few years the Pacific is gonna be busy and Singapore is gonna be seeing some new toys I imagined we would never see in our corner of the world.

    Not to mention how the USN is planning to expand the Logistics base here in Sembawang Wharf... I think you guys need a hell lot more space!

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    Senior Member junglejim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goat89 View Post
    America's refocus on Asia hasn't really hit me hard till the Shagri-La dialogue.
    Besides knowing that the new Littoral Combat ships will be based? here, your DefSec mentioned that 60% of the USN will be based in the Pacific. That was really surprising for me as I always presumed that the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea were the focus.

    Moreoever, the local news reported that the Phillipines MoD announced that they are interested in having a military agreement with us on joint training and exchange, something with what both countries have with the US.

    Apparently, we had such an agreement before, but the plan was scrapped 2 years in as there was some sort of legal issue with the Filipino parliament?

    The next few years the Pacific is gonna be busy and Singapore is gonna be seeing some new toys I imagined we would never see in our corner of the world.

    Not to mention how the USN is planning to expand the Logistics base here in Sembawang Wharf... I think you guys need a hell lot more space!
    Yes, Singapore used to train in Fort Magsaysay one if the, if not the biggest, military base in South East Asia. It was called off when you placed one of our citizens in death row, and the politicians decided to play on the emotions of the people and stop those joint trainings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by junglejim View Post
    Yes, Singapore used to train in Fort Magsaysay one if the, if not the biggest, military base in South East Asia. It was called off when you placed one of our citizens in death row, and the politicians decided to play on the emotions of the people and stop those joint trainings.
    Really? I never knew that... wonderful how the news left that part out... but still... wheres the opposition now eh?

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    Senior Member junglejim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goat89 View Post
    Really? I never knew that... wonderful how the news left that part out... but still... wheres the opposition now eh?
    There was no opposition, it was a nation that was pissed that it happened to their people. Other country's would react the same way too, there had been on going in training between some elements of both armed forces but might be OPSEC.

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    It has been suggested on the other thread on this that we would have a 'light footprint' in the Philippines; just a small force stationed there, a refueling and maintenance operation, and a base staff to keep the base ready for a major surge if needed. So what would that look like? Presumably, no carrier battle groups, amphib groups or fighter wings. I assume we would want the kind of assets that could support operations against Muslim terrorist groups in the south islands, and to combat piracy, and a quick reaction capability to support the Philippine military. I would also assume we would want some surveillance assets.

    So my guess would be, a couple LCSs, one or two of those catamaran logistics support vessels, perhaps some smaller patrol vessels, a survey ship, some P-8s for maritime surveillance of the area, some V-22s and helos to support specops missions, and some transport aircraft. We may rely upon Philippines Air Force F-16s for air defense, which would likely be based at Clark with a USAF training staff on hand helping them get up to speed. There would have to be at least small Marine and Air Force security contingents for base protection, and a specops troop continent.

    The next step up would be to station an LPD at Subic Bay as well. That would obviously mean several hundred more Marines stationed there, along with their equipment and aviation assets. I would imagine if that was done, we would want some Marine F/A-18s or USAF F-16s operating out of Clark for air support, if needed. An LPD could be justified for anti-terrorist and anti-piracy duties, so that may be politically feasible.

    The next step up would be things like an Aegis destroyer, attack subs and a full fighter wing. I do not think we will go that heavy so far as a permanent deployment, and I would not think the Philippines government would easily sell that kind of U.S. military presence to the locals. However, destroyers and cruisers could be stationed in the area on constant rotation, using Subic for fueling and liberty calls. They would not be officially stationed there, but the effect would be much the same. Likewise, various Navy, Marine and Air Force wings could constantly rotate in for training and exercises with the PAF. As for the subs, they have been in the region all along, and would not need to make a lot of visits to Subic. This kind of thing would allow us a bigger presence without the political issues of a larger permanent force stationed there. The locals will be happy to see the economic benefits of the return of the U.S. military, as well as the counter to China, so I think this is doable.

    China has really opened up a big opportunity for us to improve our containment of their increasing local military aggression. They seriously shot themselves in the foot by bullying the other nations in and around the South China Sea. By acting like thugs and making enemies in the region, they gave us more friends there.

    The next big question will be, how will the Chinese react to and attempt to counter our increased military power in the Philippines? That will be interesting to see. I expect, for one thing, to see a beefing up of ChiCom forces on the south China coast and Hainan Island. It would not surprise me to see them accelerating their carrier program as well. And a more aggressive patrolling of the South China Sea with more powerful surface action groups supported by submarines and land-based aircraft is probably in the cards for the near future. Another obvious move would be for the Chinese to supply additional covert funding, arms and training to Muslim terrorists and separatists to destabilize the Philippines (I assume this is already going on at a lower level).

    This could lead to a new, though somewhat tense stability in the area, with Chinese action to develop 'their' territories in the Spratleys stayed by our increased military presence. Or it could lead to the area becoming even more of a flashpoint if the Chinese get even more aggressive in asserting their imagined territorial claims in the disputed islands. The Philippines could become more emboldened by our protection and start asserting their territorial claims more forcefully, leading to confrontations and even armed conflict on the seas. Then there would be the question of possible U.S, intervention in support of Philippine ships under attack by the PLAN; and the political consequences for us if we refused to act. One thing is for sure; things are going to get even more interesting in the South China Sea. And we could be seeing the beginning of a new U.S./Chinese cold war unfolding before our eyes.
    Last edited by Ought Six; 06-09-2012 at 05:24 PM.

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    All of what you have mentioned has happened already, when the Us base was here. Given at that time the Armed Forces of the Philippines had access to US logitsics, so the Air Force had high operationla tempo and decent capabilities to defend itself. It was bombing or destroying Chinese bouy's and the Shoal in question was used as a bombing range by the Philippines and the US. at that time the Chinese laid low due to the American presence.

    The Chinese can be more assertive, or change its tactics and be more friendly to the Philippines, to change the locals mindset and push the American out again or give them the same access. For a time they ere doing this and handing out engineering equipment to the Philippines. Then they dropped the ball and got to agressive, could be due to the issues at home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by junglejim View Post
    All of what you have mentioned has happened already, when the Us base was here. Given at that time the Armed Forces of the Philippines had access to US logitsics, so the Air Force had high operationla tempo and decent capabilities to defend itself. It was bombing or destroying Chinese bouy's and the Shoal in question was used as a bombing range by the Philippines and the US. at that time the Chinese laid low due to the American presence.

    The Chinese can be more assertive, or change its tactics and be more friendly to the Philippines, to change the locals mindset and push the American out again or give them the same access. For a time they ere doing this and handing out engineering equipment to the Philippines. Then they dropped the ball and got to agressive, could be due to the issues at home.
    The Chinese have not gotten into direct armed conflict on the seas with Philippine ships as of yet. That would be a real game-changer. Now that the Philippine has its own ships capable of projecting force into the Spratleys (and soon military aircraft as well), that kind of scenario is quite possible.

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