The United States announced Wednesday it would withdraw all of its fighter aircraft from the Philippines next year when its basing rights in the country expire.
Special U.S. negotiator Richard Armitage made the announcement during a private meeting with Philippine Foreign Secretary Raul Manglapus on the eve of the second round of talks on the future of six U.S. facilities in the country, a U.S. statement said.The 1947 lease on the sprawling Clark Air Base, Subic Bay Naval Station and four smaller facilities expires on Sept. 16, 1991. Clark and Subic are the oldest and largest U.S. facilities overseas and are manned by some 14,500 troops.
Armitage arrived earlier Wednesday for the two days of talks scheduled to begin Thursday. He immediately went to the meeting with Manglapus.
The statement said Armitage informed Manglapus Washington has decided not to station F-15-E aircraft at Clark beginning in 1991 as originally planned to replace the aging F-4-E fighters.
It said the F-15-E would instead be based in Elmendorf Air Base in Alaska.
Manglapus also was informed the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing currently based at Clark will be removed.
The statement also said the decision to withdraw was made in Washington and was influenced by the Philippines' "publicly expressed position that the fighters should be removed by 1991."