U.S. military to station drones at Kadena Air Base in 2017

May 26, 2014 Ryota Shimabukuro of Ryukyu Shimpo reports from Washington D.C.

In a conference held in Washington D.C., U.S. Navy Admiral Jonathan Greenert stated the U.S. military plans to station unmanned aerial surveillance aircraft Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton in Okinawa from 2017.

The MQ-4C Triton is an unmanned aerial surveillance aircraft that builds on an earlier model, the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk.

The U.S. military plans to station the aircraft at Kadena Air Base.
This will be the first time the U.S. military has station an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in Okinawa.

Greenert explained that stationing the aircraft in Okinawa was a part of the U.S. Rebalancing strategy for the Asia-Pacific region. As part of this strategy, the U.S. military is reinforcing military bases in Okinawa.

The U.S. military stationed six Boeing P-8 Poseidon of the U.S. Navy at Kadena Air Base last year.

Triton is designed to operate with P-8 Poseidon.

The U.S. military temporarily stationed the Global Hawk at Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture. The Japanese government plans to purchase MQ-4C Triton aircraft for the Self-Defense Forces.

Greenert also stated the U.S. military would station the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II in the western Pacific in the late 2010s. However, he did not refer to the specific countries, regions or military bases to which they will be stationed.

(English translation by T&CT)

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