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Naval Air Facility Atsugi Commander Capt. Reed Eckstrom apologized Monday to city officials in Fujisawa, where a Navy helicopter made a precautionary landing Saturday.

Eckstrom met Fujisawa City Mayor Katsuo Yamamoto Monday morning to apologize for the unplanned landing and express his appreciation both to city emergency workers for their help and to residents for their cooperation after the landing, said Brian Naranjo, base spokesman.

Eckstrom assured the mayor the Navy will determine what caused the incident as soon as possible and notify the city to ease any anxiety residents may have.

“We take our relationship with the local community very seriously,” Naranjo said.

“Like any Navy command we take safety very seriously as well. Safety is one of the very first things you think about on any mission, including flight, no matter how routine.”

A warning light prompted the pilot of a UH-3H Sea King to land near a beach in Fujisawa City around 11:50 a.m. Saturday.

No one on the ground or in the helicopter was injured, officials said.

The helicopter returned to Atsugi on Saturday night after a maintenance crew checked it.

The cause of the warning is being investigated, Naranjo said.


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