US, Philippines to Build Up Bases

The US and Philippines have signed a new agreement to build up bases inside the country to increase the US rotational presence. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, who visited the country last month, said the signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the two countries shows the Philippines “is an important ally and we are moving forward with them.” The Philippine government is building up Basa Air Base, which could be a new location for US rotations, said James during a Wednesday briefing at the Pentagon. In April, Air Force A-10s in the region lingered for 45 days at Clark Air Base for new training missions along with patrols in the contested South China Sea. When that rotation ended, US Navy aircraft deployed to the base. Those aircraft have not been replaced. James said Clark would be a site for new US aircraft deployments to the Philippines while Basa’s infrastructure is being improved.