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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 November 1 - 7  > US military deploys F-35As to Kadena base in defiance of local opposition
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2017 November 1 - 7 [US FORCES]

US military deploys F-35As to Kadena base in defiance of local opposition

November 1, 2017
Two U.S. Air Force F-35A stealth fighters on October 30 arrived at the U.S. Kadena base in Okinawa Prefecture as part of the U.S. deployment plan. This is first deployment of the aircraft at a U.S. military base abroad.

The U.S. Air Force plans to station a total of 12 F-35As and a 300-member fighter squadron at the Kadena base for six months.

The F-35A deployment was carried out under the U.S. military’s Theater Security Package which aims to improve combat readiness by deploying U.S. force units to the Kadena base and other U.S. bases in South Korea and Guam. Under the TSP, the U.S. military already deployed F-22s in 2007 and F-16s in 2015 to the Kadena base.

The liaison council of the Kadena base-hosting municipalities of Okinawa City, Kadena Town, and Chatan Town on October 24 urged the U.S. military to refrain from deploying F-35As to the Kadena base.

Commenting on the arrival of the two F-35As, Kadena Mayor Toyama Hiroshi said, “We are concerned that the U.S. military will keep expanding the operation and scope of the Kadena base in defiance of our protest. A series of aircraft accidents by the U.S. military, including the latest helicopter crash, have made local residents aware of the high risk of accidents. The F-35A deployment is totally unacceptable.”
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