Preparations are underway at Nakhon Phanom airbase in northeast Thailand to pull out all United States aircraft by the end of the month.
Preparations are underway at Nakhon Phanom airbase in northeast Thailand to pull out all United States aircraft by the end of the month. All 20 observation planes and 15 big helicopters stationed at the base -- once the command centre for the U.S. air war in Indochina -- will leave by next Tuesday (30 September), according to an announcement made in Bangkok earlier this month.
The departure of the aircraft is part of a phased withdrawal of all U.S. servicemen in Thailand by March 1976. The Thai government formally demanded the end of the U.S. military presence on Thai soil following the end of the wars in South Vietnam and cambodia earlier this year.
Nakhon Phanom airbase -- financed and built by the U.S. for the Indochina conflict -- is due to be closed by the end of the October. By then, the number of authorised U.S. troops remaining in Thailand will be cut by 3,000 to 16,500, At the beginning of this year, the total number of U.S. servicemen stationed in Thai bases exceeded 27,000.
Negotiations are continuing between the United States and Thailand over the situation of U.S. citizens wishing to remain in Thailand in non-combat roles.
The demand for the withdrawal of the U.S. military presence in Thailand coincides with a new government policy of establishing diplomatic relations with Communist states in the region.