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How did two military bases change the country of the Philippines in Southeast Asia?

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Post time 2024-5-20 17:05:21 | View all Read mode

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After the end of World War II, the United States’ military presence spread almost all over the world; There were once more than 5,000 military bases established in various places (nearly half of them overseas). After the end of the Cold War, due to changes in the international situation, adjustments to U.S. military strategy, and opposition from the people in host countries, the number of U.S. military bases was greatly reduced and was mainly distributed among several base groups.
For example, the famous US military base in Guam, picture: wikipedia

In the entire Western Pacific, in addition to the familiar Elmendorf Air Force Base represented by Alaska base group, the Northeast Asia base group represented by Japan's Yokosuka base and Okinawa base, as well as a large number of military bases stationed in southeastern my country. The U.S. military's Southeast Asian base group is centered on the Philippines' U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay and Clark Air Base. , this is a link between the past and the future in the "First Island Chain" of the US military bases in Southeast Asia.
The Philippine Islands are an important part of the first island chain

Subic Bay not only faces the South China Sea, but is also very close to Manila

Subic Navy The base is located in Subic Bay in the southwest of Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines, about 130 kilometers away from Manila. The entire harbor is 14 kilometers long, 8-13 kilometers wide, and 24-50 meters deep. It is a natural deep-water port with a strategic location, so it has been a battleground for military strategists since the 19th century. The Subic Naval Base can berth two to three aircraft carriers, including the world's deepest-draft nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. It was once the logistics base of the Seventh Fleet and its strategic location is very important.
Location of Subic Bay
Clark/Angel City-How did two military bases change the country of the Philippines in Southeast Asia?
Clark/Angel City-How did two military bases change the country of the Philippines in Southeast Asia?
Subic Naval Base, Picture: wikipedia

During the Cold War, Subic Bay Naval Base Together with Vietnam's Cam Ranh Bay Naval Base, it is also known as the bridgehead for the confrontation between the East and West camps in the South China Sea. The entire naval base covers an area of ​​262 square miles, approximately the size of Singapore.
And Clark Air Force Base covers an area of ​​about 37 square kilometers (you need to change the unit here. Or unified miles or kilometers), the two bases form the U.S. military in Two major pillars of Singapore. However, after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in late 1991, the Americans were forced to close the Subic Naval Base the following year, and the United States lost this important link in the "First Island Chain."
Clark Air Force Base, Picture: wikipedia

The reason why Americans stationed troops in the Philippines goes back to the colonial era a hundred years ago. In 1885, the Spanish Navy began to station troops in Olongapo, Subic Bay, northwest of Manila. The city built a Navy Yard; after the Spanish-American War in 1898, the U.S. Navy occupied the Navy Yard and continued to use it. It was then gradually expanded into one of the main bases of the U.S. Navy. On December 10, 1899, one year after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, the American flag was raised in Subic Bay.
Although the Americans defeated Spain

The Philippines wanted independence, but was colonized for the second time by the United States...

Picture: wikipedia

In 1900, the U.S. Navy General Administration conducted an in-depth inspection of the naval base construction plan , concluded that they are not optimistic about the continued stationing of the US fleet in Manila Bay or Subic Bay. Instead they recommended the islands south of Manila as the most suitable location for future U.S. naval forces in the Philippines. But Admiral George Dewey and Admiral George Ramey, commander of the Asiatic Fleet, disagreed. They believe Subic Bay holds the greatest potential.
It is indeed a good deep-water harbor

Picture: google map

Due to the interference of high-level naval officials, Subic Bay was still included in the future naval base construction plan, and more resources and troops were allocated to Subic Naval Base. In 1919, the U.S. Army established a base in Angeles, 70km northeast of Subic Naval Base. A new Army Air Base was expanded near the city's Fort Stotsenburg, which later became the famous Clark Air Force Base.
Former Clark Air Force Base

Today’s Clark International Airport

The day after the Pearl Harbor attack, on December 8, 1941, 108 Japanese bombers took off from various airports in Taiwan and 34 fighter jets launched a sneak attack on Clark Air Force Base. At that time, Clark Air Force Base was not on alert. Under the Japanese attack, many Army Air Force aircraft were destroyed and the base facilities were partially damaged.
Two weeks later, the situation in the entire Subic Bay area became desperate, and the US military ordered the destruction of facilities and evacuation. In early January 1942, the Japanese Army attacked Olongapo City and occupied the entire Subic Bay. What awaits the U.S. troops stationed in the Philippines will be the hellish "Bataan Death March."
Clark/Angel City-How did two military bases change the country of the Philippines in Southeast Asia?

American war posters about the "Bataan Death March"

It was not until late October 1944 that the U.S. Army and Navy fought back to the Philippines. They fulfilled MacArthur's promise to return to the Philippines. . By January 1945, the tide had turned and the Japanese had almost abandoned Subic Bay, while the powerful U.S. Army Air Forces dropped hundreds of tons of bombs on Subic Bay. As the saying goes, if you are poor, you will make a roundabout way, but if you are rich, you will go crazy! In the end, the US military successfully recaptured two military bases.
Sculpture of MacArthur's return to the Philippines

On March 14, 1947, the United States and the Philippines signed an agreement in Manila to continue to use and expand U.S. military bases in the Philippines for a period of 99 years. The agreement ceased in 1991, and U.S. forces withdrew from Subic Bay Base and Clark Air Force Base.
Before the withdrawal of the US military, the Philippine military was responsible for the security surrounding the Subic Bay base to reduce friction between the US military and Filipino civilians and ensure the smooth operation of the US military base. The United States provided the Philippines with US$500 million. military loans and various aids. Internationally, the US military base in the Philippines was an important base for the containment policy under the Iron Curtain of the Cold War, and for Southeast Asian countries, it was a guarantee for containing the Red Camp. After all, Malaysia’s Chen Binh, Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh, Myanmar’s Dechin Dantong, Cambodia’s Pol Pot, and Laos’ Nguyen Khaishan, none of them gave Americans peace of mind.
Clark Air Force Base was busy during the Cold War

After the end of World War II, Subic Naval Base and Clark Air Base began large-scale construction. The base combat facilities were continuously improved, and the living facilities became more and more mature, almost as good as The United States is no different and is known as "Small Town America".
On the eve of the subsequent Korean War, the U.S. Navy began to build its own air station in the Subic Bay area, and the entire naval base began to expand on a larger scale. Cubi Point Naval Air Station (Cubi Point) was put into use on July 25, 1956, including an air station and an adjacent pier, capable of docking the largest aircraft carrier in the Navy at the time. In the future, the air station will become the main maintenance and repair center for the 400 carrier-based aircraft of the Seventh Fleet aircraft carrier.
Cubi Point Naval Air Station (Cubi Point)

Picture: wikipedia

After the Tonkin Gulf incident, the US military began to directly intervene in the situation in Indochina. During the peak period of the entire Vietnam War, Subic Naval Base became The U.S. Seventh Fleet maintains forward bases for supplies in Southeast Asia, and Clark Air Force Base also undertakes more strikes and logistical support against Vietnam.
Clark/Angel City-How did two military bases change the country of the Philippines in Southeast Asia?

Vietnam battlefield and Clark Air Force Base

After the liberation of Saigon, Vietnam in 1974, thousands of refugees fleeing Vietnam were taken away by U.S. Navy ships, and most of them were To the refugee camp in Subic Bay area. From 1984 to 1989, the Philippines collected US$900 million from the United States based on these two military bases. On the other hand, the US military stationed in the Philippines provided about 40,000 jobs to local people at that time and was an important employer of Filipinos.
Clark/Angel City-How did two military bases change the country of the Philippines in Southeast Asia?

Americans will give priority to taking away Vietnamese orphans

They are most likely to be educated from an early age to become Americans

In February 1986, large-scale mass protests were triggered by electoral fraud, and "People Power" demanded Overthrow then-Philippine President Marcos. Marcos, his wife and immediate family members arrived at Clark Base at night to seek political asylum. Under the protection of the US military, they flew to Hawaii. President Marcos was exiled. The Philippines ended 20 years of dictatorship.
Marcos and Nixon, Picture: wikipedia

The disintegration of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall in the early 1990s marked the end of the Cold War. The size of Subic Naval Base and Clark Air Force Base was reduced, and many personnel and Equipment is moved to other bases and even shipped back to the United States.
However, the biggest headache for the U.S. military is that the 99-year lease is about to expire. Starting in 1988, the U.S. government and the Philippine government tried to renegotiate the conditions for extending the Subic and Clark military bases. Despite the strong national sentiment in the Philippines, the focus of the debate remains the amount of money the U.S. government will pay the Philippine government to lease and use the base.
However, on June 15, 1991, Mount Pinatubo began an explosive eruption, which was one of the largest volcanic eruptions in the world in the 20th century, spewing large amounts of ash and pyroclastic flows that covered nearby Angeles City, Clark Air Force Base, and Subic Naval Base.
Clark/Angel City-How did two military bases change the country of the Philippines in Southeast Asia?

Clark Air Force Base after the volcanic eruption

Picture: wikipedia

Clark/Angel City-How did two military bases change the country of the Philippines in Southeast Asia?

Subic Naval Base after the volcanic eruption

Picture: wikipedia
Subic Bay Area after the volcanic eruption

Picture: wikipedia

What’s worse is that the raging typhoon happened to hit northern Luzon, and the volcanic ash quickly turned into a more deadly lahar and causing massive losses. This volcanic eruption directly caused the U.S. Air Force to evacuate Clark Air Force Base until it was completely evacuated.
Clark/Angel City-How did two military bases change the country of the Philippines in Southeast Asia?
Clark/Angel City-How did two military bases change the country of the Philippines in Southeast Asia?

Evacuation during a volcanic eruption

Photo: wikipedia

On November 24, 1992, the American flag was last seen at the Subic Naval Base After being lowered, the last 1,416 sailors and Marines from Subic Bay Naval Base were flown out of Kube Point Naval Air Station. The withdrawal marked the first time since the 16th century that no foreign troops were present in the Philippines. The two military bases were also turned into plowshares under the leadership of the government and became Subic Bay Free Port Zone and Clark Free Port Zone.
Clark/Angel City-How did two military bases change the country of the Philippines in Southeast Asia?

The Stars and Stripes were lowered, and Subic was officially evacuated

Photo: wikipedia

However, the withdrawing US troops left behind various pollutants here, such as abandoned pesticides and submarines Nuclear waste generated and so on. Of course, this is not the most troublesome thing. American veteran soldiers are not that simple. A large number of US troops are stationed for a long time, and naturally they have specific needs for men. The US military has never exercised puritanical control over this, but instead created limited conditions to meet them.
Therefore, a large number of Filipino girls became the sexual tools of American soldiers. Therefore, in Angeles City, not far from Clark Air Force Base, a town focusing on singing, dancing, entertainment and pornographic services was formed, which is known as It's called "Angeles City", also known as "Angel City".
Clark/Angel City-How did two military bases change the country of the Philippines in Southeast Asia?


"The City of Angels" is synonymous with the Philippine sex industry. A variety of shabby nightclubs and bars line up along Field ave in the town. At present, it is said that there are about 10,000 women providing services here to continue this industry.
It is said that this figure was 10 times higher before the Americans evacuated. When it's time to take a break while stationed, a large number of American soldiers on leave will flock from the two bases. Many mixed-race children were born here. There are many mixed-race children who do not know who their father is and have never seen their father. Another major reason for this situation is also related to the Philippines itself. As a Catholic country, local law stipulates that women are not allowed to have abortions. , and contraception is not encouraged.
Angel City’s famous walk street

With the evacuation of Americans, the information of this small city was taken out. More and more Western, Japanese and Korean male tourists come here to have fun, and at the same time, more and more mixed-race people are left behind. A very small number of lucky ones will receive financial assistance from "benefactors" and move to big cities, or even immigrate. More often than not, it is repeated from generation to generation. The local government also turned a blind eye, perhaps hoping that this kind of specialty tourism would bring more popularity to the free port zone.
Clark/Angel City-How did two military bases change the country of the Philippines in Southeast Asia?

Clark Free Port Zone

Photo: Nate Hovee/Shutterstock

The Philippine government is currently vigorously promoting these two free port zones in an attempt to increase more fiscal revenue. Many light processing industries from South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan have set up factories here because of the preferential policies and cheap labor costs of the free port zones. In the two free port zones, the streets are clean and tidy, the road signs have Chinese, English, Korean and Japanese logos, and large-scale operations are parked in the docks. boats, Korean BBQ is easy to find in the area.
Clark/Angel City-How did two military bases change the country of the Philippines in Southeast Asia?

Panorama on the river between Subic Bay and Olongapo City, Philippines

Photo: surf the sky/Shutterstock

The government also plans to build one of the three major railway projects in the Philippines Subic-Clark Railway to create a better economic environment. In addition, tourism is also being promoted. It is worth mentioning that Subic Bay is also one of the world’s famous World War II shipwreck diving destinations. Most of the wreckage sleeping under Subic Bay contains relics from the Spanish-American War in 1898 and World War II.
It is precisely because of the large number of shipwreck resources

Local diving tourism has also developed

In World War II, many Japanese ships were sunk by the US Air Force in this area, and the waters near Subic Bay fell asleep There are about 19 sunken ships, as well as some F4 fighter jets and A2 attack aircraft. Since Subic Bay has always been a garrison port of the US Navy in the Philippines, diving exploration of the seabed has been strictly prohibited.
It was not until the U.S. Navy evacuated Subic Bay in 1992 due to the volcanic eruption that these wreck divings were gradually developed and gradually became known to the outside world. Internationally renowned technical diving organizations will set up wreck diving training courses in Subic Bay. . The experience or training in Subic or Clark includes aircraft driving, shooting sports, etc., and the price/performance ratio is very high. Many domestic clubs also choose here for training, which is deeply loved by enthusiasts.
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