Skip to comments.The Navy’s Golden Chance to Return to Subic Bay
Posted on 06/08/2019 11:11:46 AM PDT by US Navy Vet
In recent years, the United States has struggled to persuade the Philippine government and the countrys citizens it is serious about honoring its commitments under the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). China has been feeding this growing mistrust, hoping to drive a wedge between the two long-standing allies to the point one or both will move to terminate the treaty.
Twenty-seven years ago, the stars and stripes were hauled down for the final time at Naval Base Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines, fulfilling the U.S. obligations to withdraw all military forces and vacate all bases after the Philippine Senate rejected a new military-bases agreement in September 1991. This ended 94 years of U.S.-military basing arrangements in the Philippines. At the time there was no peer competitor in the western Pacific, and then-Pacific Commander Admiral Charles Larson announced a new Pacific and Indian Ocean regional strategy of places not bases, which remains the strategy today. In 1998, a new visiting forces agreement was finally signed, allowing U.S. military personnel and ship visits to the Philippines. In 2014, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) was signed.
In this technological era, capital surface ships at Subic Bay are more vulnerable to abrupt destruction than the American fleet was at Pearl Harbor in 1941. Defense strategy has to be rethought. Subic had its day, capital surface ships also once had theirs. Their time has passed. Sadly it will take the horrible deaths of many young sailors before today’s “battleship admirals” come to understand that in the modern technological era, capital surface ships, including the super carriers are floating coffins. The Philippines should develop Subic as a commercial port. The best their navy can do is serve as an anti pirate force. Deal with China in other ways.
China and the chinese navy appreciate your support. /s
Lol. Subic and Olongapo City was a craphole. I hated docking the to load 5”38 ammo.
There may also be an issue with the long-term viability of the Philippines as well; the Muslim insurgency in the south isn’t going away, and if we’re tightly intertwined with the government we could be drawn in to it to prop them up. Guantanamo Bay is the result of building castles on sand...
The ship I was stationed on, USS Samuel Gompers, AD 37, overseas homeport was Subic Bay.
A good time was had by all.
Each and every one of their ships has been identified by their distinct magnetic resonance and electronic signature, their locations monitored and pinpointed at all times and their quick destruction by multiple means in the event of hostilities well planned and ready to implement. The problem is that China has similar capabilities and our surface ships are almost equally vulnerable.
The club at Cubi (air side of Subic) was pretty darn nice back in the late 70s, early 80’s. Good food, entertainment. Of course going downtown was always a risk but there were some interesting clubs there...
Tell you what, richardhead, it is not the purpose of this century's Navy to be safe, comfortable, and alive... It is to slow down or stop an enemy fleet by any means (including sacrifice) necessary...
From the article: “...fulfilling the U.S. obligations to withdraw all military forces and vacate all bases after the Philippine Senate rejected a new military-bases agreement in September 1991.”
Are you saying that President Bush should have kept Subic Bay open even though the Philippine Senate didn’t renew the agreement. Or should he have met whatever demands they may have made to keep it open?
Our fleet being forward deployed provides among other things, flexible response and power projection. Would you also have us withdraw from Japan, Hawaii, Sigonella, Rota, and all our other forward allied locations?
Cubi was a great base of ops for the entire WESTPAC theater. Lots of ops to tainan Taiwan, cam rahn bay, et al. And best of all the aircrew BEQ on Cubi was about 158 steps at a dead run from olongapo (magsaisai (sp) street, if memory serves). Dropped a lot of quarters in the $?!t river coming and going.
“Are you saying that President Bush should have kept Subic Bay open even though the Philippine Senate didnt renew the agreement. Or should he have met whatever demands they may have made to keep it open?”
We were the 800-pound gorilla; they were a chihuahua. He should have reminded them of that.
If there is a need to project military power far from American shores, there are many ways of doing so employing modern technology. Nevertheless if the projection of that power requires capital surface ships, those young sailors are at extreme risk and are not serving on viable fighting platforms that would survive against a technologically sophisticated opponent. Sorry but the Navy has to rethink how it will do what you say is necessary for American national interests and defense. Put another way would you want your son or loved one serving on a destroyer in the Taiwan Strait or Persian Gulf if hostilities were to begin?
Yeah, .. where the Booted the American Military right through the uprights! That’s where we want to be.
-WestPac sailor, inport Subic Bay many times between 1986 and 1988
I served on a carrier as part of the air wing in the Red Sea and Persian gulf in the 91 gulf war. We go in harms way to protect armchair admirals like yourself. Does that answer your question? Those of us who serve arent looking for places to hide.
Man does that bring back thoughts I don’t want to re-live!!!
All the plaques including only one Air Force plaque are there. My name is on it.
You know your old when your in a museum.
P.S. My first plane with my name on it is on a pedestal at Eglin AFB.
Remembering the faces of the Filip rioters/protestors demanding the shut down and removal of everything American. I am sure folks are just itching to go back into that lovely ‘we hate America’ cauldron of hate and terrorism.
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