Okinawa town objects to jet noise
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — The Kadena Town Council has passed a resolution protesting the use of adjacent Kadena Air Base by Japanese Air Self-Defense Force aircraft.
Aircraft from the JASDF units from Naha Air Base are slated to start using Kadena on Tuesday while a runway at the Japanese base is repaired. The work is to last until March 31.
“During the period, F-4 jets of Self-Defense force will be transferred to Kadena Air Base, where they serve nighttime warning and surveillance missions and stand by for emergencies,” states the resolution adopted Thursday. “Even though the move is temporary, the anticipated increased noise causes fear and anxiety among residents because their missions could include nighttime scrambles.”
The council noted that air traffic at Kadena already is heavy.
“Even in normal situations, residents of the communities surrounding the air base have constantly suffered from noise and fumes emitted from activities such as engine adjustments and in-bound and out-bound air traffic,” stated the resolution, addressed to the U.S. ambassador to Japan, the Okinawa Area coordinator, the U.S. consul general on Okinawa and Kadena’s 18th Wing commander.
Kadena officials did not respond to queries concerning the resolution.
A JASDF spokesman Friday confirmed the move of Japanese planes to Kadena.
“Due to the repair work of a runway at Naha Air Base, F-4 fighter jets, U125 search-and-rescue aircraft of Air Self-Defense Force and P3C antisubmarine patrol aircraft of Maritime Self Defense Force, a total of six airplanes, will be moving to Kadena Air Base during the period of Sept. 20 through the end of March 2006,” he said.
“The aircraft have round-(the)-clock warning and surveillance missions and are on standby for emergencies and airspace incursion duties,” he said.
“Recently, the noise was further aggravated by aircraft deployed from other U.S. military bases,” the resolution stated.
For example, six F-16s from the 181st Fighter Wing, Indiana Air National Guard, arrived Sept. 1 on a one-month deployment for training.
“Such off-station training is a vital requirement for air crews to maintain flight and combat proficiencies,” an 18th Wing news release stated at the time.
The council demanded a “strict observance” of a noise abatement agreement on Kadena Air Base, which restricts flight activities between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.