US military equipment arrive in Subic for Balikatan 2016

Randy Datu

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US military equipment arrive in Subic for Balikatan 2016
The shipment includes Humvee vehicles, trucks, jeeps, backhoes, and bulldozers

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines – A huge number of US military vehicles and heavy equipment arrived at the Subic Bay International Airport here Monday, March 28, for use in the upcoming annual Balikatan 2016, the joint Philippine-US military exercises.

Robert Chester, director of Liberty Call Logix Corporation, a Subic-based one-stop-shop for land, sea and air services coordinating the arrival of the US military cargo, said: “This military cargo will be used in the coming Balikatan joint military exercise between the United States and the Philippines scheduled from March 18 to April 22 this year.”

The shipment included Humvee vehicles, trucks, jeeps, backhoes, and bulldozers, among others.

Chester added that part of the cargo will be for humanitarian and disaster relief assistance as well as community projects.

JOINT DRILLS. US military vehicles pictured in Subic, March 28, 2016. Photo by Randy Datu/Rappler

He declined to comment on whether some of the military cargo would be distributed to the 4 air bases and one army camp in other parts of the country that the US had identified its troops will use as temporary bases.

These places were earlier identified as: Antonio Bautista Air Base in Puerto Princesa, Palawan; Basa Air Base in Floridablanca, Pampanga; Fort Magsaysay in Palayan, Nueva Ecija; Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro; and Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu.

US troops were allowed on Philippine soil again after the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) was signed between the Philippines and the US in April 2014.

Its implementation was delayed because the Supreme Court had to look at the constitutionality of the deal.

Last January the SC ruled the agreement to be constitutional. (READ: FULL TEXT: Supreme Court’s decision on EDCA)

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