U.S. fighter drills to move from the Kadena Air Base to Guam next month

November 26, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

On November 25, the Ministry of Defense announced that from December 1 U.S. fighter aircraft drills initially planned to take place from the Kadena Air Base in December will start partially moving to Guam. This is one of the initiatives that Japan and the United States have agreed to carry out so as to reduce the burden on Okinawa, and this is the second redeployment of U.S. fighter drills scheduled for Kadena since this October. The drills will involve about 20 FA18 fighter jets and 650 personnel based in Iwakuni Air Station (Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture).

From December 1 to 18, jet fighters and refueling aircraft will be moved for the drills.

The Ministry of Defense is keen to redeploy the F15 jet fighters from the Kadena Air Base to Guam, but at this point in time this has not been achieved.

In January, Japan and the Untied States agreed on plans to move ahead with the relocation of the drills, which started in 2007, from the Kadena Air Base to Japan Air Self-Defense Force Bases outside of Okinawa and to Guam.

(English Translation by T&CT, Megumi Chibana and Mark Ealey)

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