An aerial view of Subic Bay naval base in Philippines. - Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

1992 The US flag was lowered at Subic Bay for the last time as the US formally handed over the giant naval base to the Philippines. The lights go out in Olongapo fun city outside Subic, as the American Marines pack up to go home. The handover signalled the effective end of nearly a century of US military presence in the former colony. Some 150 diplomats and military officials from the two countries presided over the handover. They have been forced out by the Philippine Senate’s refusal to ratify a new treaty that would have given Washington the base facilities for 10 more years. The Philippines plans to turn Subic into an industrial zone and is inviting businessmen from Japan and Taiwan to invest. David Krieger Commanding officer of Subic said: “I feel a combination of sadness and expectation. We are ending a tremendous relationship on a day-to-day basis. I am proud that we are turning over a good military facility”.

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