Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 November 6 - 12  > US military lack of discipline
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2019 November 6 - 12 [US FORCES]

US military lack of discipline

November 8, 2019
Have Japanese taxpayers been forced to pay "sympathy" money to such a degenerate force!?

In December of last year, an F/A-18D strike fighter and a KC-130 air tanker, both deployed at the USMC Air Station Iwakuni (Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Pref.), collided in the air, crashing into the sea off coast of Kochi, resulting in six deaths. An investigation report the U.S. military recently made public is full of appalling facts.

The biggest causal factor of the accident was this: an unlicensed airman had received a midair refueling order. The USMC rules that those who have not engaged in air-to-air refueling at night for more than 365 days will lose their refueling license. The airman who caused the accident had not performed in-flight refueling for 517 days. However, this person neglected to report this fact to his unit and the unit had also neglected to check on his flight history, according to the investigation report.

Also, from two of the crewmembers on board, some kind of sleeping inducers, which are banned as a USMC rule, were detected in a urine test. The investigation report suggests the possibility that they may have been under the influence of the sleeping pills.

The report also reveals a lot of undisciplined cases in the unit as a whole to which the airman in question belongs. Many pilots, while in flight, take selfies with their smartphones and some even read or shave, according to the report. Such flight activities have been taking place every day with no rebuke from Japan thanks to the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).

On top of that, the U.S. investigation report exposes several facts involving drug and alcohol overdose, describing the present environment as "terribly non-occupational".

In the first place, the USMC is a global-scale strike force and has nothing to do with defense of Japan. However, the Japanese government has been holding this force up as a "deterrence" for the sake of peace and stability of Japan and the region, and now the government is pushing ahead with the construction of a state-of-the-art military base in Okinawa in order to keep this force in Japan.

However, what is it about this force that can be praised as a "deterrence"?
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved