Newest U.S. first strike fighters deployed to Atsugi

With a roaring noise, four U.S. fighter/attacker F/A-18 Super Hornets from the United States reached the U.S. Naval Atsugi Air Station in Kanagawa on November 13. Nine more Super Hornets are scheduled to be deployed to the base in mid-December.

When the state-of-the-art aircraft landed on the base, the decibel level was 118. Residents and Japanese Communist Party members of eight nearby local assemblies staged a protest against the deployment at the base gate.

Atsugi base commander James D. Kelly at the press conference on the same day stated proudly that the deployment to the Atsugi base of F/A-18s with the capacity to carry out a wider range of missions with more weapons is very important for the Japan-U.S. alliance.

The commander also said that training with the Super Hornets will start in two weeks and be increased gradually. The F/A-18 E/Fs will take part in operational navigation exercises with the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk next spring.

JCP members of local assemblies in Kanagawa Prefecture handed over a protest note addressed to the commander, which says:

"The 1.5 million residents living near the U.S. Atsugi base are deeply concerned about the unbearable noise and the danger of possible crashes of aircraft from the Kitty Hawk. The Super Hornet deployment will further threaten their daily living and safety conditions."

The JCP members demanded that the deployment of the F/A-18s be suspended. (end)

Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved.