MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines plans to relocate major air force and navy camps to a former U.S. naval base northwest of Manila to gain faster access to waters being contested by China in the South China Sea, according to the country’s defense chief and a confidential government report.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Sunday that as soon as relocation funds are available the government plans to transfer air force and naval forces and their fleets of aircraft and warships to Subic Bay, which has become a busy free port since the 1992 departure of the U.S. Navy.
“It’s for the protection of our West Philippine Sea,” Gazmin said from South Korea, where he was on a visit, using the name adopted by the Philippine government for the disputed South China Sea. Continue reading
North Korea has recently deployed dozens of attack helicopters near its disputed sea border with South Korea, media reports said Tuesday, as both sides strengthen their military presence in the area.
The North has posted some 50 helicopters to Taetan and Nuchon air bases near the Yellow Sea, Yonhap news agency and other media reported, citing unidentified Seoul officials.
They include upgraded versions of the North’s Mi-2 helicopters as well as Mi-4 and Mi-8 models imported from the Soviet Union decades ago, it said, adding some were armed with machine guns and rockets.
“These choppers are being used for ground attacks and high-speed mobility forces exercises,” Yonhap quoted an official as saying.
Helicopters from the two bases could reach the South’s frontline island of Baengnyeong within two or three minutes, Chosun Ilbo newspaper said.
Full article: North Korea puts attack choppers near border: reports (Defencetalk)