Okinawa assembly protests F-15 accident
NAHA, Okinawa — The Okinawa Prefectural Assembly on Wednesday unanimously adopted a protest resolution against an Oct. 4 accident involving two U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter jets.
The resolution called for halting F-15 and F/A-18 flights from the air base until the military makes public the cause of the accident and announces measures taken to prevent any future incidents.
Two F-15s from the 12th Fighter Squadron, deployed to Kadena Air Base until January from Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, bumped each other while flying in a military training area about 125 miles south of Okinawa’s main island.
The left wing of one fighters and the vertical stabilizers of the other were damaged. Both jets returned safely to Kadena Air Base with no injuries to the pilots.
“The accident shocked and angered people of Okinawa,” the resolution stated. “Should one step go wrong, it could have been a major disaster involving civilian areas.”
“Same as the case with a crash of a CH-53D helicopter in Ginowan, flights of the fighter jets have been resumed the very next day (after) the accident, before determining the cause ... and without taking preventive measure, which is extremely inexcusable and absolutely unacceptable,” the resolution stated. The assembly also demanded that all military aircraft cease flying over civilian areas for drills and exercises.
The assembly next is to deliver the resolution to the U.S. ambassador to Japan, the commander of U.S. Forces Japan, the U.S. Forces Japan Okinawa area coordinator and the U.S. Consulate General on Okinawa, prefectural officials said.