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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 February 7 - 13  > U.S. Air Force attempts to continue parachute drop training at Kadena Air Base
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2007 February 7 - 13 [US FORCES]

U.S. Air Force attempts to continue parachute drop training at Kadena Air Base

January 27 & February 7, 2007
It has been revealed that the parachute drop training exercise carried out on January 26 at the U.S. Kadena Air Base in Okinawa for the first time in eight years, the U.S. Air Force used a site exclusively allocated for such exercises as the drop zone.

The revelation suggests the U.S. Air Force is planning to continue to conduct the exercises at the base.

In defiance of the protests of local residents, including Japanese Communist Party members of Kadena and Chatan towns, six paratroopers of the 18th Air Wing rescue squadrons, home-based at the Kadena base, landed the drop zone located near a runway.

The U.S. Air Force on its website revealed the existence of the drop zone at the Kadena base. It said that the drop zone is named after a U.S. soldier who was with the squadron who died in February 2002 in the U.S. “anti-terrorism” operations in the Philippines.

When Kadena Town Mayor Miyagi Tokujitsu made representations to the U.S. base earlier in the day, requesting the cancellation of the exercise, a U.S. force official told him that the exercises do not end with this.

The Okinawa prefectural government and municipal governments in the area surrounding the base demanded that the U.S. military cancel the training exercises.

The exercise violates the 1996 Japan-U.S. Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) agreement that parachute drop training exercises will be relocated to Ie Jima Auxiliary Airfield.
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