PAC3 missiles transferred from Kadena to Futenma and Camp Courtney

PAC3 missiles transferred from Kadena to Futenma and Camp Courtney

At around 11:40pm on October 24, at the gate of the Kadena Ammunition Depot, the U.S. military guards vehicles loaded with equipment for PAC3 before they were moved to Futenma and Camp Courtney.


October 25, 2011

Early in the morning of October 25, the United States Army moved its PAC3 (Patriot surface-to-air missile) and related vehicles, which had been deployed in the U.S. Air Force Kadena Air Base to U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station and Camp Courtney in Uruma City. The Okinawa Defense Bureau was notified of this by the U.S. military on October 24, and then informed the local police and municipal authorities. At around 12:20am on October 25, six vehicles loaded with equipment related to the PAC3 missile left Kadena Air Base Gate 1.

A PAC3 maneuvering drill was held during the Japan-U.S. joint exercises in early December last year in which convoys of about eight vehicles loaded with equipment related to the PAC3 repeated a moving drill every 30 minutes on National Route 58 between midnight and daybreak. According to the Ginowan municipal authorities, office staff of the Defense Bureau explained the maneuvering of the missiles at around 3:40pm on October 24, saying, “The U.S. Patriot missile battery will be deployed to the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station and Camp Courtney.”

According to the Kadena local authorities, they were told, “[PAC3 missile] will move on a deployment drill.” However, because “U.S. forces could not comment for security reasons”

the authorities were not given any information about the specific time and number of vehicles. Shigeo Yamauchi, director of the Base Policy Department for Ginowan City, said, “We were notified in advance, but were not given details of the time or the number of vehicles involved. We are not sure whether or not the move is temporary.” He continued indignantly, “We local residents live our lives amid the risks that Futenma Air Station brings. Even if it the deployment of the Patriot missiles is supposed to a temporary measure, it is not something that we are prepared to tolerate.”

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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