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Two F-15 fighter jets from Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, made an emergency landing Saturday at the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Tokushima Air Base on mainland Japan.

Four fighters left Yokota Air Base, Japan, headed to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, when one encountered an “in-flight emergency,” according to Air Force 2nd Lt. Timothy Lundberg, 18th Wing spokesman.

“Any time the pilots notice anything out of the ordinary, they do whatever they can to get the plane safely on the ground,” Lundberg said.

The troubled jet, along with an escort, landed at Tokushima at 1:25 p.m. Saturday, according to a spokesman at the Japanese base.

One of the four jets sent out a signal indicating that it was experiencing trouble at 1:19 p.m., the spokesman said, and the emergency signal was immediately detected in the base’s air traffic control radar.

While Lundberg, citing safety reasons, would not comment on the specific problem with the jet, the Japanese base spokesman said the pilot landed after one of his gauges indicated a fuel shortage.

The landing did not disrupt any flights at the facility, said the Tokushima spokesman. Tokushima is a joint-use airport by the Maritime SDF and commercial aircraft.

The southern portion of the airport, where the F-15s landed, is used by MSDF to train pilots, he said. Because it was weekend, no training was going on at the time the emergency landing occurred, he said.

Lundberg said a maintenance crew was sent to Tokushima to repair the plane; they were still there as of Monday afternoon.


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