KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — The 18th Wing said it will cut the amount of noise affecting local communities during training exercises.
Starting immediately, a Japanese-language preamble to loudspeaker announcements will no longer be broadcast, the base announced Thursday in a news release.
“In response to community concerns and feedback from local government officials, Kadena Air Base has adjusted its public address speaker system procedures to lessen noise impacts on local communities during training exercises,” the release said.
The preamble was added to exercise announcements several years ago in an effort to better inform neighboring communities about the training.
“However, recent comments from community members and local officials indicated that the preamble was not having its intended effect,” the release said.
“The feedback that we received was that the announcement was often difficult to understand and sometimes generated confusion in the local community,” Col. Max Kirschbaum, 18th Mission Support Group commander, was quoted as saying.
Now, instead of the preamble, people will hear several tones warning that an announcement is forthcoming, followed by the words, “Exercise! Exercise! Exercise!” and then directions in English to airmen involved in the exercise.
“Our goal was to take a small but concrete step to reduce some of the noise associated with our exercises,” Kirschbaum said in the release.
“It is critical for us to conduct operational readiness training, and we do everything we can to minimize the impacts of the training on our neighbors in the local community.”