After Killings, Servicemen’s Kin Want to Leave
The families of at least 210 U.S. servicemen in the Philippines want to return to the United States early following recent killings of American soldiers, according to a U.S. official.
Lt. Col. Ronald Rand, a spokesman at Clark Air Base, said Friday that 150 families from the base had responded to an early departure program survey saying they would leave the Philippines before the end of the regular tour of duty of the soldiers.
Rand said those wanting to go back make up 3% of the families of servicemen at Clark, the largest U.S. air base in Asia.
He said 60 families at the nearby Subic Bay Naval Base, the logistics and repair center for the U.S. 7th Fleet, also want to leave. That would be 2% of dependents stationed at Subic, he said.
The U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii offered an early departure program for dependents of American soldiers last week, saying the move was “in reaction to the continuing and increased threat to Americans” in the Philippines.
Three American servicemen were killed outside Clark and Subic last month in attacks blamed on Communist guerrillas, bringing to 11 the number of U.S. nationals slain in politically motivated incidents in the past three years.
The rebel New People’s Army has said it will continue killing Americans unless Washington dismantles its six military facilities in the Philippines.
U.S. basing rights expire in September, 1991. Philippine and U.S. officials are negotiating an extension of the lease covering the bases.