The Philippines will station new fighter jets and two frigates at the former U.S. naval facility in Subic Bay from early next year, officials said, the first time the massive installation has functioned as a military base in 23 years.
Using Subic Bay would allow the Philippine air force and navy to respond more effectively to Chinese moves in the disputed South China Sea, security experts said. Subic Bay’s deep-water harbor lies on the western side of the main Philippine island of Luzon, opposite the South China Sea.
“The value of Subic as a military base was proven by the Americans. Chinese defense planners know that,” said Rommel Banlaoi, a Philippine security expert.