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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 July 18 - 24  > Osprey brings more US military flight training exercises to Iejima Island
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2012 July 18 - 24 [US FORCES]

Osprey brings more US military flight training exercises to Iejima Island

July 22, 2012
Akahata Sunday edition

With the controversial deployment of the Osprey, the U.S. Marines will hold 4,000 more flight training exercises a year over Okinawa’s tiny island of Iejima, where the U.S. forces forcibly seized local farmers’ lands with “bayonets and bulldozers” aftert the end of WWII.

On Iejima Island, the U.S. Marine Corps conductd Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) and parachute drop training exercises at its auxiliary air field, which occupies 35% of the island.

“We are already suffering from U.S. military aircraft noise and dust from the air field,” said a resident.

When C-130 transport aircraft take off, limestone used on the surface of the runway causes sandstorms which are blown onto residential areas.

The above-mentioned resident said if the storm occurs during the shipment period of tobacco leaf, it will be covered with sand and cannot be shipped.

According to the U.S. forces, the deployment of Osprey to Iejima Island will raise the number of take-offs and landings of aircraft at the local air field from 6,204 to 10,084 a year, 70% of which will be made by the accident-prone aircraft, and 683 of them will be made during the night (from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.).

Ie Village Mayor Oshiro Katsumasa, who clearly opposes the deployment plan, revealed that a Naha Defense Bureau official told him that safety will be secured because the Osprey will only fly over the ocean side. The mayor stressed that he can hardly believe that this promise will be fulfilled as U.S. aircraft often fly outside the designated flight route.
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