Philippines announces four new bases for U.S. forces

By Tony Bertuca / April 3, 2023 at 2:19 PM

The Philippines and the United States today announced the locations of four new sites where U.S. military forces will be based.

The new Enhanced Defense Cooperation Arrangement 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 the Pentagon.

The naming of the locations follows a February announcement in which the United States and the Philippines committed to designate four new EDCA sites.

The locations will complement five existing EDCA sites.

“[T]hese new locations will strengthen the interoperability of the U.S. 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,” the Pentagon said.

The department said it intends to expand funding on top of the $82 million that has already allocated toward infrastructure investments at the existing EDCA sites.

The announcement is in step with the Biden administration’s National Defense Strategy, which calls for countering China in the Indo-Pacific region, including in any potential conflict over Taiwan.

Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said during a press conference that the EDCA sites are focused on “regional readiness,” but also “be[ing] able to respond” to natural disasters in the region.