As I have written earlier, the Philippines has been in the process of constructing a new naval base opposite the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea (See: “A ‘New’ Philippine Navy Base in the South China Sea?”).
Though Philippine armed forces chief General Gregorio Catapang, Jr. recently indicated that the base was a “top priority,” he also admitted that construction had been delayed by funding bottlenecks and the infrastructure there was still very much a work in progress.
On June 2, IHS Jane’s reported that the Philippine Navy (PN) had released images confirming that it had completed the first major access road to a naval pier being built there – a clear sign of progress. According to the PN, the road, which is part of what is described as a three-year development to make Oyster Bay a major naval anchorage for the Philippines as well as visiting allies, would now allow the construction of the naval pier to move ahead at a greater pace.
IHS Jane’s also reported that the project development program report describes a facility that will eventually have a secure helipad, an amphibious jungle warfare training center in the surrounding area, a coast watch radar station and communications center on the hills overlooking the site, a network of armed outposts and monitoring systems, and potentially an area forward joint operations center for visiting “security and treaty” partners of the Philippines. More specific details are still publicly unavailable as many of these plans remain classified.