Govt supports shift of US troops to Asia
Says troops and supplies will aid disaster and humanitarian relief
The Philippines armed forces today welcomed a U.S. government plan to shift its military assets from Afghanistan to the Philippines and Singapore. “The repositioning plan of the US Pacific Command to the Asia-Pacific is a welcome development, especially for countries like the Philippines that are perennially hit by natural disasters and calamities,” said Colonel Amulfo Marcelo Burgos, a military spokesman. He said the move will benefit the Philippines and support future “disaster response and other contingency” operations in the region. "This will also allow for rapid responses and quick reactions to emergency situations brought forth by typhoons, earthquakes and other natural calamities," Burgos said. An article posted on the US Department of Defense website said US authorities are in the process of identifying the assets that would be transferred as part of the downscaling of the US presence in Afghanistan. The article quoted US Pacific Command chief Admiral Samuel Locklear III as saying that the plan will be valuable in the event of disasters that require humanitarian assistance. Among the items that are being disassembled from Afghanistan are tents and generators that are "vital in humanitarian crisis." Brigadier General Mark McLeod, Pacific Command director for logistics, said in the article that "logic dictates" the assets are moved where they are needed. "A preponderance of the natural disasters happen in this theater, so the question is raised: How do you get enough assets out here to support all of the things that happen?" he said. McLeod noted that the Philippines and Singapore offer low-cost warehouse space and provide good airfield and port access.