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23-Year Absence From Philippines to End
By Harold Hutchison

Clark Air Base, 1989 (DOD photo)

A deal signed between the United States and the Republic of the Philippines will end America’s 23-year absence from the long-time ally. Barack Obama and Philippine President Benigno Aquino signed the agreement.

According to a report from VOA News, the deal will allow the United States to rotate units through the Philippines. No permanent basing will be allowed. American forces were in the Philippines from 1903 to 1991, and at various times, included the 3rd and 405th Tactical Fighter Wings.

American forces left in 1991. Since then, the ChiComs have carried out an air and naval buildup and have become more aggressive over territorial disputes in the South China Sea. The build-ups have included several destroyer classes, including Russian Sovremennyy-class destroyers, as well as Russian Su-27/30 Flankers. The ChiComs have also been developing indigenous ship and aircraft designs, including the Luyang-class destroyers and the J-10 and J-20 fighters.

The deal extends until 2024.