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Amid safety fears, U.S. Navy jets train on Iwo Jima

43 Comments
By ERIC TALMADGE

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Sounds like the perfect location.

The only people who might be inconvenienced by it are the 1,200 Japanese troops stationed there.

I'm sure they don't mind.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Regardless of where the U.S. Navy trains their fighter pilots the Japanese people are going to complain no matter where the train

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I really think a fully international and combined allies training site would be great. If Japan could create a large site somewhere uninhabited, or even create a series of islands off the mainland it'd be fantastic for both the international allied community and to help reinforce the political presence in that area.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If a plane finds itself in serious trouble and for some reason that lone airstrip on the island isn’t viable

Why in an emergency would the airstrip not be viable?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

And, to reciprocate, the US is training Japanese soldiers and sailors in San Diego. The drill, which ends June 28, will train Japanese troops to deploy swiftly to defend territory. Japan is sending three warships, about 10,000 service members and about four combat helicopters to the so-called Dawn Blitz exercise, Inoue said. Forces from New Zealand and Canada also will take part.

The troops will practice an amphibious assault on San Clemente Island, a naval training ground off San Diego's coast, as training for the Senkakus, and also conduct a mock beach invasion at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, as training for the Chinese mainland.

Japan's navy is among the world's best-equipped and best-trained, but its skills at storming beaches and other amphibious capabilities have been weak since its national defense force formed in the 1950s. Most Asian countries welcome a more capable Japanese force, that is also closely allied to U.S. forces, to counter Chinese belligerence in the South China and East China Seas.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

For Dennis Bauer: Weather comes in quickly on Iwo To, especially at night. If the field goes IMC (instrument meterological conditions) and the aircraft could not safely land, that would constitute such an emergency. There are a lot of mitigations that reduce the risk however.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Iwo is the perfect place for the jets. Also for spelunking.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Bertie Wooster

Sounds like the perfect location.

Did you not read the article. It's about Iwo To NOT being a perfect location because of the lack of a divert field or alternate runway. Any aircraft flying to IWO is screwed if it gets there and the field becomes unavailable for any number of reasons.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Seems like Japan is nothing short of an airfield for the USA. Japanese people, do you like this situation?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

" Any aircraft flying to IWO is screwed if it gets there and the field becomes unavailable for any number of reasons."

All-weather aircraft, fair-weather pilots. Blue water ops is something Navy pilots must also deal with. I've been to Iwo years ago. Make improvements to the landing strip, or relocate. Preferably to Guam.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Did you not read the article. It's about Iwo To NOT being a perfect location because of the lack of a divert field or alternate runway. Any aircraft flying to IWO is screwed if it gets there and the field becomes unavailable for any number of reasons.

Not to worry, they will always have Okinawa.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If not the USA helping Japan, then China, Russia, Korea will try to push Japan around, that's the situation!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why can't they train in LA or Hawaii? Why do they need to train in Japa?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Amid safety fears, U.S. Navy jets train on Iwo Jima

Who made this assertion...? Amid Safety Fears...? Really JT...?

This was NEVER about Safety, it was 110% about NOISE... No mention of Safety... Just curious to know who's making up their OWN Facts here...?

Some creative writer here wants to elicit a response, so they making up stuff to catch the readers attention... Makes for good reading, but NOT Factual...

And Just FYI, they didn't start doing Landing Practice there (unless you are referring to the Japanese Navy) until after 1991. FACT...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How about they train in America? No risk andno noise complaints.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Why can't they train in LA or Hawaii? Why do they need to train in Japa?

Yeah! So what if traveling halfway around the world just to conduct flight training, then traveling halfway around the world back to the duty station you're assigned to is considered a horrendous waste of fuel? I'd call this a "bad idea", but that would be giving it way too much credit as actually BEING an idea.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

David Elson,

How about they train in America? No risk and no noise complaints.

One wonders why they don't.

Japan isn't US territory. And the US has so much land that I wonder why they feel the need to do their training here or on Iwojima.

Still, since the only inhabitants of Iwojima are the 1,200 Japanese troops, who would only be getting what they signed up for, no one would be inconvenienced.

And if the landing strip is a little dangerous, well, it should keep them on their mettle, shouldn't it?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Bageshima is an uninhabited island located about 40 km south of Osumi Peninsula of Kyushu and about 12 km west of Tanegashima Island, where Tanegashima Aero-Space Center (JAXA) is.

Iwo Jima is also an uninhabited island and provides an ideal location for a flight training facility for the U.S. military, but it's located about 12,000 km from Atsugi Air Base, a home base for the George Washington's air wing -- too far from alternative landing facilities when ditching incidents/accidents occur.

So the U.S. Navy must have searched for alternative facilities near Honshu and selected Bagejima from among many other alternatives. In 2007, the media reported a plan was being examined for the island to be turned into a FCLP facility for the U.S. naval air wing. In December 2007, the island briefly surfaced as a target relocation site for Futenma. In May 2011, the media also reported that then Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa had ordered bureaucrats to re-examine the possibility of using the island as a FCLP facility.

It is in this vein that the above report, "Amid safety fears, U.S. Navy jets train on Iwo Jima," must be considered. The Pentagon may be throwing out a feeler to facilitate the Bagejima plan to go ahead quickly.

Here's another example of Washington's hubris as a suzerein over Japan. The underlying problem is exactly the same as in the case of the Futenma issue.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

there are a number of near uninhabited islands scattered across the region, but Mageshima would fit the purpose. Guam of course should be where intensive training should take place in the first place.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

voiceofokinawa,

Here's another example of Washington's hubris as a suzerein over Japan. The underlying problem is exactly the same as in the case of the Futenma issue.

Well said.

They have a huge, spacious country of their own.

Why don't they use the US for training?

My vote is to cut the "sympathy budget" and let them fund their own military games.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

how many Japanese bases in USA? or Cuban bases in USA, German, French, British, Iraqi, Afghan, Uzbeki etc etc, you get the point

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@bertie

One wonders why they don't.

They do, all the time, but wherever the pilots are stationed, anywhere in the world, believe it or not, they still need to continue, practice, update and keep their skills sharp, that means, they need to practice.

Japan isn't US territory.

Like I said before, had Japan NOT done what it did 70 years ago, we wouldn't be where we are today. Remember that, if any, you should get mad at Japan.

And the US has so much land that I wonder why they feel the need to do their training here or on Iwojima. Because they are stationed in Japan. I'm not in the Air Force, but I'm sure there is a valid reason.

Still, since the only inhabitants of Iwojima are the 1,200 Japanese troops, who would only be getting what they signed up for, no one would be inconvenienced.

But that's not for you to decide. That's your own personal opinion.

And if the landing strip is a little dangerous, well, it should keep them on their mettle, shouldn't it?

I think you would wish for their well being, who else would defend Japan?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@BertieWooster

Hey Bertie "I Never Served a Day In the Military" Wooster -

I'll tell you exactly what YOU Need to do... Start Petitioning Your Local Japanese Diet Member and Tell Them, You want U.S. Forces Out of Japan... Eventually, after enough of people like come forward, Japan, I.E... The Japanese Government will start Cancelling SOFA agreements and the like.. (That is if you are a Native, Blood Japanese, who can legally vote in Japan, other wise they'll blow you off...)

So instead of whining about something that couldn't affect you less, I suspect because you are Jealous of Americans / or the U.S. Military, start doing some of the things I just mentioned....

Good Luck Young Man!

You're Welcome!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

BertieWooster

They have a huge, spacious country of their own. Why don't they use the US for training?

Comments like this one above really illustrate how little you understand about the US military's presence here and the logistics involved in our carrying out our mission here. It's so much easier to keep the blinders on and repeat, "Get out of Okinawa. Get out of Japan." and propose ignorant and naive solutions like this one. You ask why? Because we can't be forward deployed in an overseas AOR and train back in the US at the same time. We can't be in two places at once Bertie. We're good, but not that good.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Chin4sailor,

Bertie "I Never Served a Day In the Military" Wooster

Well it wasn't difficult to work that out.

You are quite right. I have never served 30 minutes in any military, let alone a day.

But my dad did.

I grew up in it and got a good look at it and its people.

There is a mind set, a way of thinking that I just can't get a handle on.

Honestly, guys, just think about it.

The US military isn't defending Japan. That's not why it's here. I used to think that it was, but I've been corrected on this point time and time again.

For a start, there is no one to defend against.

China, the enemy?

Do you honestly think that China would attack any part of Japan?

It would have nothing to gain and everything to lose.

The economics of Japan, the U.S.A. and China are so mixed up, direct aggression would be unthinkable.

North Korea?

It might get one punch in, but the resulting retaliation would wipe it off the map.

So, again, I ask. Why is the US military here?

Iwojima seems like an ideal location. You can make as much noise as you want. Play Rambo, play with your toys and airplanes at any time of day or night and NO ONE is inconvenienced.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

BertieWooster,

Because using the United States land for simulating exercises is inaccurate, Doesn't make sense. Also, the Land in the United States is being used for training, for protecting the United States... And soon some Japanese Water to Land Assaults in Southern California.

One the US Military is here to protect Japan from Asian aggression, which is one of our interests, contrary to what you may believe. However, your Dad being in the Military gives you no hindsight in what the Military is about.

Also, to clear other peoples confusion, You're not Japanese. You're a foreigner as well as I am. Please don't let your hatred of the United States compel you to make assumptions of what the United States interests are as well as our role in Assisting one of our greatest Allies, if not our most important ally.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why Government do not build on one of Senkaku Islands? They should build floating Air Field if it's not enough space on Island. Communist China can only noise once for all.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You are quite right. I have never served 30 minutes in any military, let alone a day.

Sounds like you are putting the military down.

But my dad did.

I grew up in it and got a good look at it and its people.

There is a mind set, a way of thinking that I just can't get a handle on.

Then it's actually your problem with you and your deep rooted anxieties.

Honestly, guys, just think about it.

The US military isn't defending Japan. That's not why it's here. I used to think that it was, but I've been corrected on this point time and time again.

How do you know that, because YOU say so? You know something our military, Obama and the WH know?

For a start, there is no one to defend against.

Yes, there is, China and N. Korea

China, the enemy?

You think they are our best friend?

Do you honestly think that China would attack any part of Japan?

Yes, if given the right opportunity, I'm sure of it.

It would have nothing to gain and everything to lose.

Crazy countries have crazy leaders that do crazy things and that are always unpredictable.

The economics of Japan, the U.S.A. and China are so mixed up, direct aggression would be unthinkable.

But you don't know that. If you did, you'd be working in Washington if you had that kind of intel.

North Korea?

Of course.

It might get one punch in, but the resulting retaliation would wipe it off the map. , But there is no guarantee that, that's how it will unfold. Diplomacy would be the first step and to use every power so that it wouldn't come to that.

So, again, I ask. Why is the US military here?

To protect Japan from ANY possible Asian aggression.

Iwojima seems like an ideal location. You can make as much noise as you want. Play Rambo, play with your toys and airplanes at any time of day or night and NO ONE is inconvenienced,

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Bleuren,

Please don't let your hatred of the United States compel you to make assumptions

You misunderstand me.

I honestly don't hate the U.S.A.

I have many American friends and relatives in the States.

I do not like the direction the U.S.A. is going in, however. Certain aspects of the U.S.A. are, I believe, getting out of hand. It's rapidly going from a country where you could go to escape a tyrannical regime to a country that people escape from. People have less and less freedom. And justice doesn't really exist any more. People are arrested and imprisoned without trial. The phones and internet is tapped. Public opinion is largely controlled by the media, which doesn't actually lie, but carefully selects which facts to present. Drones. Guantanamo. It's more like the USSR than the Land of the Free.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@bertie

Heck, you could've fooled me, judging by your constant barrage against America, I would have thought quite the opposite.

But allow me to correct you on certain issues.

I do not like the direction the U.S.A. is going in, however. Certain aspects of the U.S.A. are, I believe, getting out of hand. It's rapidly going from a country where you could go to escape a tyrannical regime to a country that people escape from.

You can still do that. The US is still the country where people can achieve the American Dream should they choose. You have thousands of foreigns entering the US and just wanting to work to support their

People have less and less freedom.

If you think that it's an isolated interest that happens in everywhere and every country that's here.

And justice doesn't really exist any more.

We still have one of the best legal systems around, is it perfect you? At least I can speak to an attorney, get my affairs together and start campaign

People are arrested and imprisoned without trial.

The Terrorists, by all means necessary.

The phones and internet is tapped. Public opinion is largely controlled by the media, which doesn't actually lie, but carefully selects which facts to present. Drones. Guantanamo. It's more like the USSR than the Land of the Free.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It might get one punch in, but the resulting retaliation would wipe it off the map.

Umm... Bertie... Retaliation by WHOM? Japan? Don't make me laugh. As long as the Japanese Constitution bans offensive military forces, all Japan can do is DEFEND. Japan has NO retaliatory capability. Right now the only retaliatory action possible would come from the U.S. forces... which you want back in the U.S. Another perfect example of wanting to eat your cake yet still have it.

Yeah, we could launch a bunch of ICBMs from the safety of our mainland and turn an Asian country into a glass parking lot, but it isn't ever going to happen because we've seen the results of that kind of action and most Americans - for all our bluster - wouldn't wish that kind of hell on our worst enemy. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bad enough, but the things we have in our arsenal now are 100 times worse. So we strive to remain "conventional" and that means forward-deployed forces.

You can deny it to your dying day, but the truth is that U.S. forces are there at the REQUEST of the Japanese government. Japan at any time can decide to terminate the SOFA agreement and the U.S. would have to leave withing 365 days of the termination. That's what it says IN WRITING. There's no way to weasel out of it through a loophole. 365 days from notice of termination, U.S. forces and materiel would have to be gone. While it's true that the U.S. can also terminate the SOFA agreement at any time, they will never be the one to initiate such a thing because that would just add to the U.S.'s reputation of abandoning people who put their trust in us.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@bertie

Fadamor is 100% correct and as long as you know that, there is no need to whine constantly about the usual "why are the U.S. forces in Okinawa, they should leave" we all know that, but it's falling on deaf ears. As he said, the U.S. will NEVER bring up the idea of terminating the SOFA agreement, NEVER. And as much as many of these Right wingers or Japanese that are anti-U.S. military for being stationed here, they know full well that their military forces can ONLY defend and that defense has a lot of LIMITATIONS which North Korea and China know. They may protest and yell on their blow horns, but they know the only way that they would even remotely have a chance of winning any conflict is with the help of the U.S. Even if the U.S. would cancel the SOFA agreement, do you think the Japanese would line up and enlist to join the armed forces in droves? Do you think if they have a draft, men would gladly enter into the armed forces. The mentality towards military conflict for the Japanese is just something they NEVER think about, unlike South Korea that have a very strong patriotic attitude towards their country. Even if they didn't have a mandatory draft system, many would still volunteer for service, unlike the Japanese that most would never do. Imagine if there were a ground invasion by N. Korea or China, Japan on its own would never have a chance. So if you want change, then the whole entire country needs to change and to understand the possible threat that's out there, but sadly, like you, many Japanese think that China is somewhat of a friend and N. Korea will NEVER attack. This complacency just boggles my mind, that Japan doesn't have good far-sight to see the possible threat out there. Do you think China is building up and advancing their military weaponry just for the fun of it. Their defense budget is about 10.7% so far. For what reason would they want or need to drastically advance their military so much? If you really worry about anyone, you should worry and pray for our troops that are working hard to keep this country safe, if they fall out of line, I think they should face the consequences, you have a few bad apples ,but the majority of our men and women are the best and the best at what they do. They would put their lives on the line for this country. They know their jobs and the people of Japan, whether they admit or not know it as well and find solace in that and so should you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fadamor (Jun. 11, 2013 - 03:14AM JST),

You are still persisting to say that U.S. forces are stationed here "at the REQUEST of the Japanese government." LOL! Don't call white black as if keeping doing so would render a real color change. That's a usual practice of Pentagon spin doctors.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

voiceofokinawa,

You are still persisting to say that U.S. forces are stationed here "at the REQUEST of the Japanese government." LOL! Don't call white black as if keeping doing so would render a real color change. That's a usual practice of Pentagon spin doctors.

Exactly!

Since the Japanese government is a puppet government installed by the US, "at the request of the Japanese government" is rather meaningless, don't you think?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

BertieWooster,

Cheers.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

voiceofokinawa,

Cheers.

Don't mention it!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Since the Japanese government is a puppet government installed by the US, "at the request of the Japanese government" is rather meaningless, don't you think?

And why is that Bertie, if Japan IS as you say, a puppet government of the US of A, who was solely responsible for that? I think you've letting your anger get the best of you and you should redirect it towards the country that failed them

1 ( +1 / -0 )

bass4funk (Jun. 12, 2013 - 01:41AM JST),

Japan started the war by attacking Pearl Harbor and lost it. So all the responsibilities for the war's consequences rest with Japan. For a nation to be a puppet of another nation is a tragedy indeed, but that was a natural consequence of the war.

This is what you want to say, bass4funk, isn't it? The catch is you've admitted the hard fact that Japan is not a sovereign nation but a pitiful vassal of the U.S.A. That means almost all bilateral agreements -- the security treaty, SOFA and a series of agreements involving U.S. bases in Okinawa -- are meaningless make-believe, as bertieWooster correctly points out.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Voice

Yes, that is correct. So if people like you or Bertie don't like the current living conditions and the SOFA agreement, then take it up with the J-politicians (good luck with that) and see where that takes you, in the meantime, DEAL WITH IT! So then Japan should NOT complain, they made their bed, they chose their path, NO one told them to go out and invade Manchuria, bomb Pearl Harbor and to start a Pacific war. I don't need to go on about this, won't!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

bass4funk,

Thanks for candidly tipping plenty of information about how that bracket of Americans who you seem to represent, that is, jingoistic and imperialist-minded Americans, think about Japan-U.S. relations at heart.

Now you've admitted publicly that Japan is a vassal or puppet of the U.S. Then there's no possibility at all for a vassal or puppet to act independently of a suzerain or puppeteer. That's why we think it's better to take our problems directly to Washington.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@voice

Thanks for candidly tipping plenty of information about how that bracket of Americans who you seem to represent, that is, jingoistic and imperialist-minded Americans, think about Japan-U.S. relations at heart.

Sorry, but you are not going to give me the guilt trip, will never happen. When you use the word "Imperialist" please know and understand properly what the proper meaning and definition is and how it should be applied.

Imperialism: the policy, practice, or advocacy of extending the power and dominion of a nation especially by direct territorial acquisitions or by gaining indirect control over the political or economic life of other areas; broadly : the extension or imposition of power, authority, or imposition of power, authority, or influence

The U.S. NEVER tried to colonize Japan, therefore, the current situation that politically Japan is in, is due to what Japan or "imperialist Japan" tried to do during WWII. Had that never happen, you would not say such a benign statement like that.

Now you've admitted publicly that Japan is a vassal or puppet of the U.S.

I never said such a thing.

Then there's no possibility at all for a vassal or puppet to act independently of a suzerain or puppeteer. That's why we think it's better to take our problems directly to Washington.

But who's fault is that, seriously? Go back and look at your history. This is a totally stupid argument. If you want to go to Washington, go and I wish you all the luck. Also, Geo-politically, I highly doubt the Japanese want a big change, as I said before, if the U.S. were to completely withdraw all of their military forces out of Japan? What would you think would happen to this country? Don't blurt out just ANY answer, think deeply and methodically about what do you think how Japan would be or how it would do without the U.S. military. How would Japan's neighbors see it? Give me specifics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

bass4funk,

Of course, you didn't actually say "Japan is a vassal or puppet of the U.S." but you admitted the very fact that it was.

To my posting of Jun. 12, 2013 - 07:13AM JST, you responded by saying: "Yes, that is correct." Do you deny that?

Now, as for the word "imperialism":

Even under the definition you quote from a dictionary, the current U.S. foreign policy vis-a-vis Japan (Okinawa in particular) never fails to smack of imperialism. Why? The U.S. tries to gain either direct or indirect control over "the political or economic life of other areas." Your dictionary further defines "imperialism" more broadly as: "the extension or imposition of power, authority, or imposition of power, authority, or influence."

So what's wrong when I dub you and your ilk as an "imperialist-minded" bunch of people?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@video

Of course, you didn't actually say "Japan is a vassal or puppet of the U.S." but you admitted the very fact that it was.

Just because, I admitted it doesn't mean, that I actually believe in any way shape or form that Japan is a vassal.

To my posting of Jun. 12, 2013 - 07:13AM JST, you responded by saying: "Yes, that is correct." Do you deny that?

I do not deny anything. "Correct" meaning, that Japan cannot have an offensive military and according to the SOFA agreement has to rely on the US to aide in its defense.

Now, as for the word "imperialism":

I know what it means, but thank you anyway.

Even under the definition you quote from a dictionary, the current U.S. foreign policy vis-a-vis Japan (Okinawa in particular) never fails to smack of imperialism. Why? The U.S. tries to gain either direct or indirect control over "the political or economic life of other areas." Your dictionary further defines "imperialism" more broadly as: "the extension or imposition of power, authority, or imposition of power, authority, or influence."

Imposition is NOT being an imperialist. Do We have a reigning Monarchy that wants to colonize, eradicate or enslave the Island of Japan? The answer is of course, NO. Overseeing that Japan commits to the SOFA agreement is a different story. If America had that much power and influence, we would see Taco Bell on every comer, we'd have more Barnes and Nobles and we would never have to listen to J-pop again, the authoritative sphere of US influence would be everywhere, everyone would be speaking Native American English perfectly and on and on. I know what you are trying to make this look like, but your idea and how YOU see the US and its role is absolutely NO such thing of the sort. Don't confuse honoring post WWII agreements, oversight as Imperialism.

So what's wrong when I dub you and your ilk as an "imperialist-minded" bunch of people?

My Ilk? You can call me what you like if you think it fits within your narrow myoptic view of what Imerialism is, so be it. You are allowed to believe whatever you like, even if it is far fetched.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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