The United States’ plans for the expansion of four new military sites in the Philippines have been announced under an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the two countries.
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The four new sites include Naval Base Camilo Osias in Santa Ana, Cagayan; Camp Melchor Dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabela; Balabac Island in Palawan; and Lal-lo Airport in Cagayan, according to statements made by Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh on 3 April.
The new regional readiness sites will also include at least one airport expansion, training, and relevant naval assets, according to statements made by Singh.
Both counties had already announced plans to expand Cesar Basa Air Base in Pampanga, Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation, Lumbia Air Base, Antonio Bautista Air Base, and Mactan–Benito Ebuen Air Base in the Philippines during February this year.
“In addition to the five existing sites, these new locations will strengthen the interoperability of the United States and Philippine armed forces and allow us to respond more seamlessly together to address a range of shared challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, including natural and humanitarian disasters,” Singh said.
The United States and the Philippines have stood together for more than seven decades, unwavering in treaty commitments and shared vision for a more peaceful, secure and prosperous region.
The Defense Department will cooperate closely with the Philippine Department of National Defense, and the sites will provide excellent places for joint and combined training, hosting US rotational forces and will improve regional readiness, Singh said.
The department is also expected to expand funding above the existing $82 million allocated toward infrastructure investments at the existing EDCA sites.