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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 February 14 - 20  > Amid protests U.S. cutting-edge fighters arrive at Kadena
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2007 February 14 - 20 [US FORCES]

Amid protests U.S. cutting-edge fighters arrive at Kadena

February 18 & 19, 2007
Two U.S. state-of-the-art F-22A Raptor stealth fighter jets on February 17 and eight more of the same type on the next day arrived at the U.S. Kadena Air Base in Okinawa.

Near the base, local residents staged protests against the deployment of F-22s to the base, shouting, “We will never allow them to clear the way for war.”

Kadena Town and other local municipalities also expressed growing resentment on the grounds that the deployment will lead to the strengthening of the base functions, imposing heavier base burdens on them.

The Kadena Town Assembly will consider an appropriate response to the deployment, arguing, “The deployment is carried out in disregard of the assembly’s resolution expressing firm opposition and is an outrageous act of the U.S. forces trampling on local residents’ wishes.”

On February 18, U.S. Air Force 27th Fighter Squadron Commander Wade Tolliver said to the press that with the deployment, F-22 fighter jets have come into a part of the normal expeditionary rotation, indicating that these fighters will regularly be stationed at the Kadena base.

He also hinted at the possibility of conducting joint exercises with Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force by saying that although it is not on the menu now, it will be beneficial for both of them.

With two more fighters supposed to arrive at a later date, a total of 12 F-22s are deployed to Kadena for a period of 90 to 120 days as the first deployment of this type of aircraft outside the United States. Along with the deployment, about 250 U.S. military personnel, including pilots, will be assigned to the base.

The F-22s will take part in exercises with Kadena-based F-15s, Airborne Early Warning and Control System aircraft (AWACS), and F-16 fighters based at the U.S. Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture.
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