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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 July 1 - 7  > US combat training exercises at Yokota AB intensify
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2020 July 1 - 7 [US FORCES]

US combat training exercises at Yokota AB intensify

July 1, 2020
Training exercises using CV-22 Osprey aircraft at the U.S. Yokota Air Base in Tokyo have been intensifying since the beginning of June.

A local peace organization said, "The U.S. military may have begun full-scale training exercises using Osprey aircraft aimed at sending its special operation forces to the frontline."

The local Peace Committee in Hamura City in Tokyo told Akahata that drills to lower troops on ropes from hovering helicopters to recover the injured, which hardly took place in previous months, began at the Yokota AB in June.

Late-night flight exercises have also become frequent, according to the Hamura Peace Committee. On June 18, for example, it was after 11:00 p.m. when two aircraft returned to the base. On June 23, the last aircraft landed after 10:00 p.m.

A woman in her 30s who lives directly under a landing approach said, "They're very loud, jolting our house and scaring my 4-year-old son. I don't want military aircraft flying over our heads."

A man in his 70s who witnessed a CV-22 parachute drop drill on June 29 said, "Practice drills by U.S. forces have become more aggressive. It seems to me that they are preparing for war."

It was only on June 29 that the U.S. military, through the local defense bureau of Japan's Defense Ministry, informed surrounding municipalities of the scheduled drop training (June 29-July 2) using CV-22s and UH-60 helicopters.

The liaison council of the Tokyo metropolitan government and the surrounding municipalities on the same day made a request to the U.S. forces and Japan's Defense Ministry to provide training-related information in advance and to not carry out low-altitude flight training exercises over residential areas.
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