Marines to Man PI Tripwire
During the Cold War, the US and NATO was big on setting up tripwire forces right at the edge of Soviet-controlled territory. Today it looks like the Peoples Republic of China is the new USSR and we are doing 1948 all over again. Currently, at any one time since 2002, there are about 600 combined U.S. troops “rotating” in Zamboanga, mainly providing “counter-terrorism assistance and training” to Philippine soldiers combating Muslim extremists in southern Philippines. Now it looks like we will be placing Marines near the Spratly islands to keep an eye on youknowwho.
From the Pacific News Center:
MANILA (Kyodo)–The U.S. Marines plan to set up an “advance command post” on the western Philippine island of Palawan that faces the South China Sea, a senior Philippine marine officer told Kyodo News Tuesday.
An aerial view shows the Pagasa Island, which belongs to the disputed Spratly group of islands, in the South China Sea located off the coast of the western Philippines.
“The plan is to station 50 to 60 American marines in Palawan as an advance command post in the region,” said the officer privy to the plan. [note- to get around the new PI Constitution that forbids foreign troops being permanently stationed in the country]
Palawan is an island province closest to the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea being claimed in whole or in part by China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei.
According to the officer, the plan includes converting a 246-hectare Philippine Marine Corps reservation in Samariniana town in Brooke’s Point, in southeastern Palawan, into a joint marine operational command.
The officer said the 1.1 kilometer airstrip inside the reservation will be extended to 2.4 km to accommodate big U.S. military transport planes.
Construction work will begin in September in time for the annual Philippine-U.S. amphibious landing exercise in Palawan, he said.