Okinawa Marine base to evacuate over 100 buildings Sunday for removal of unexploded ordnance
By AYA ICHIHASHI | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 13, 2019
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The Marine Corps has ordered over 100 buildings, including six housing towers, on Camp Kinser emptied for four hours Sunday to accommodate the removal of unexploded ordnance.
Tower Nos. 858, 859, 869, 1086, 1087 and 1088 must be vacated by 2 p.m., according to the notice posted on Kinser’s Facebook page. The remainder of the camp must shelter in place and all outdoor activity is prohibited, the notice states.
The removal operation should be finished by 6 p.m., according to the notice.
“Due to the size of the of the [unexploded ordnance] and the threat it poses, over 100 buildings in the red zone must be vacated before the [unexploded ordnance] removal can begin,” the Facebook post said.
Camp security personnel will verify that the area is completely evacuated, according to the post.
Most of Kinser, a Marine Corps logistics base in Urasoe city, will be closed by noon Sunday. Gate No. 2 will be closed; Gate No. 1 will be restricted to emergencies and essential personnel only, according to the base announcement.
Marine officials did not respond to requests seeking further comment on Friday. According to the announcement, the piece of unexploded ordnance was found at a construction site on the camp.
Roughly 600 unexploded pieces of ordnance are processed on Okinawa each year, according to the Naha-based Japan Self-Defense Force 15th Brigade’s website.
Residents of Urasoe city were not asked to evacuate their homes and businesses during the removal, a city official told Stars and Stripes on Friday.
According to safety standards set by the Japan Self-Defense Force, the operation will not affect any off-base residents or buildings, the city official said. Some government officials in Japan customarily speak on condition of anonymity.
Okinawa Defense Bureau declined the comment on details of the ordnance.