Philippines: June 4, 2002
The 3 June issue of The Philippine Star reported that the United States is asking the Philippine government to allow the deployment of the Japan-based USS Kitty Hawk to in the Sulu Sea. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told them on the 2nd that American troops are likely to remain in Basilan to continue helping the Philippine military fight the Abu Sayyaf terrorists. Deploying the Kitty Hawk to the Sulu Sea would put Basilan within striking distance of the ships 70 combat aircraft.
If the Kitty Hawk is deployed in the Sulu Sea against terrorist threats, it would be the first time that a US warship would see active duty in Philippine waters since 1992 when Manila shut down two US bases. How things change in just one decade. - Adam Geibel