The PAF area, dubbed Air Force City, is under the 600th Air Base Wing but it also hosts the 1st Air Division, the 410th Maintenance Wing, the 420th Supply Wing, the 710th Special Operations Wing, the Air Force Logistics Command and the Air Force Reserve Command.
“These major units will be moved to other places, such as in Subic with the consent of the BCDA and Basa which is already ours. But some others will be moved to Fernando Air Base in Lipa and even our headquarters in Villamor,” Okol said.
Okol could not yet say the cost of the transfer but he assured families of the PAF personnel here that no movement would be done until all the infrastructure in their destinations are ready.
Hundreds of houses built by Americans within the PAF area here serve as homes for dependents of PAF personnel.
Earlier, BCDA president Arnel Casanova said the transfer of the PAF would free up more land for lease to investors.
National security, and so the assets that would secure this objective, should be top priority. Trading this in for call centers is something the BCDA and national government should think about a thousand times over. Clark and the other lands previously occupied by the US Military are best suited for military activity. By the way, I am of the mind that the creation and objective of BCDA – conversion of former US military bases into commercial zones – is most ruinous to national security. By relegating lands and locations suited for military activity in unsuited locations, BCDA and the national government are in effect compromising, selling away the safety and security of Filipinos.
Call centers can be accommodated elsewhere. The strategic location of sea and access to key jump off points from the vantage point of Clark do not add value to call center operations whereas these same locational features are critical to the successful deploy of air forces. It is callous for BCDA and the national government to ignore these.
It is impossible to revert in the future active commercial zones into military use. Think Yolanda/Haiyan and how LGUs were deaf to persistent calls and advice to prepare and do DRR years ago. Do we want a similar catastrophe this time in national security?