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U.S. Marines commander at Okinawa base sacked

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The commanding officer at a U.S. Marine base on Okinawa has been fired over a "loss of trust", the U.S. Marines said Tuesday.

There is probably a hell of a lot more to this story than what is being reported here.

This really isn't anything "huge" news wise, as the military has a long history of sacking commanders when there are a string of incidents at any particular installation.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

I think most of us kind of saw this coming.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I think most of us kind of saw this coming.

The media in Okinawa will play it up as another sign that the US Military has it's heads up their butt and it's the fault of the Osprey.

Things were pretty quiet here until this week as the air force had their version of the Osprey come here to Okinawa and on the way one had to make an emergency landing at a small airport. The protests started back up, being led by the "mainlanders" who stir the pot. This will give them more fuel to add to their camp fire!

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

A few sentences about the commander and the rest of the story is about the osprey. Why

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Oh Dear, How Sad, Never Mind.

One down 10,000 to go.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

A few sentences about the commander and the rest of the story is about the osprey. Why

Because the Japanese media doesn't cover US military stories unless they are crimes committed by servicepeople. How much have you read about nuclear weapons in Okinawa, Fat Leonard or the USS Antietam's accident and discharge of thousands of gallons of oil in Tokyo Bay last year? Not much, I'll bet.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Because the Japanese media doesn't cover US military stories unless they are crimes committed by servicepeople.

Very true, but don't forget anything negative involving a military aircraft. Basically, "how can we instigate a protest with biased reporting today?"

How much have you read about nuclear weapons in Okinawa, Fat Leonard or the USS Antietam's accident and discharge of thousands of gallons of oil in Tokyo Bay last year? Not much, I'll bet.

Actually, JT did run an article on the Fat Leonard scandal when it actually was uncovered, back in 2013, you can still look it up.

The Antietam oil spill was a year and a half ago (and it was 1100 gallons, not thousands)

The last nuclear weapon was removed from Okinawa in 1972 (and were there with the approval of the Japanese government).

Why would you expect them to report on old incidents now?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Actually, JT did run an article on the Fat Leonard scandal when it actually was uncovered, back in 2013, you can still look it up.

Only one? That's not many for what's been called the biggest corruption scandal in US Navy history:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/investigations/seducing-the-seventh-fleet/?noredirect=on

The Antietam oil spill was a year and a half ago (and it was 1100 gallons, not thousands)

Ok, but it happened and wasn't reported in any media I read at the time. 1100 gallons of oil in Tokyo Bay and media chose not to report it. Great.

Why would you expect them to report on old incidents now?

Because of the alleged dumping of chemical weapons off the coast of Okinawa? Agent orange, nerve gas, chemical mines and the like. They're still there, poisoning the sea:

"The U.S. military has a long and nasty history of contaminating its bases on Okinawa — including the dumping of carcinogenic PCBs on Onna Communication Site prior to 1995; irradiating tiny Torishima Island with depleted uranium ordnance in 1996; and, most recently, it seems that fuels are contaminating the groundwater beneath Camp Kuwae.

However, until now nobody suspected that U.S. chemical weapons continued to pose a danger.

In 1971, Okinawa officials rejoiced when the last of those munitions were taken away — but it seems it will require a lot more than salt to purify their island of the poisonous legacy of these weapons of mass destruction"

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2013/07/27/general/exclusive-red-hats-lethal-okinawa-smokescreen/#.Uf4Pe-D8820

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Back on topic please.

In the case of US military, 'fired' really means 'relieved of command'. Most high ranking officers in cases like this are reassigned to be commanding officer (CO) or executive officer (XO) of a command far far away from most other military units. Then if they screw up again, who's going to be able to report on them?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In the case of US military, 'fired' really means 'relieved of command'. Most high ranking officers in cases like this are reassigned to be commanding officer (CO) or executive officer (XO) of a command far far away from most other military units. Then if they screw up again, who's going to be able to report on them?

Your so right the top echelon is just put out to pasture and moved around like a priest until retirement age.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

PR purily. Just relocated to appease the natives.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Isn't the commander's sacking just the tail cutting of a lizard when in fact the real responsibility rests with the higher echelon of the Marine Corps that wants Futenma's function to be maintained intact or even strengthened with accidents-prone Ospreys added to the Marines’ deployment?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A brief statement said Colonel Mark S Coppess had been relieved of duty as commanding officer of the Futenma base "due to a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to lead his command."

and

In January, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis apologised to his Japanese counterpart after a string of accidents, including one in December 2017 when the window of a U.S. military helicopter fell onto the grounds of a school near the Futenma base.

these two pieces of reporting, to my mind, suggest that mattis is much more concerned about "readiness" than any 'criminal behaviour' that may have taken place during coppess' tenure. in the past 6 months there've been reports about ships colliding with civilian crafts, aircraft crashes and the loss of personnel.

in light of the upcoming june 12 talks between drumpf and kim, mattis want to be sure that the american military presence in southeast asia is firmed up. especially in the event that things go sideways.

i wouldn't be surprised to learn that heads are rolling in south korea, the phillipines and wherever else american military installations are located in asia. mad dog is roaming the yard.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The problems of Marine aviation on Okinawa will not be cured by the punishment of this officer.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Maybe they will move him to command the Marines at the Fuji Base Camp. That way he can easily get to Camp Zama to golf. It is a nice course. Camp Zama is there to protect it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good news but only the tip of the iceberg. Send these criminals home, drain the swamp.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

In the bigger picture, this is the kind of story that makes Japanese wonder if the US can really protect Japan, and then like the rightists, people who are not necessarily rightists start supporting the idea of revising the constitution to allow Japan to have a military again. But I don't think the Japanese leadership would be so stupid as to try to use the military to try taking over Asia again.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Unlike this article is trying to suggest, I doubt the Colonel's firing had anything at all to do with the Ospreys. That "loss of trust" phrase is often applied to high-ranking individuals for any number of reasons, such as having an affair with a military member or a DUI conviction. JT more info please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And an O-6 would either be reassigned or "encouraged to retire" unless he was found guilty of a very serious offense.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Only one? That's not many for what's been called the biggest corruption scandal in US Navy history:

Your keyword is US Navy history. Why would Japan Today spend a bunch of time reporting on another county's scandal? They reported on it. You want more there's plenty of US news outlets you can go to for more info.

Ok, but it happened and wasn't reported in any media I read at the time. 1100 gallons of oil in Tokyo Bay and media chose not to report it.

You're kidding right? Every outlet from CNN to Japan Times reported on it. Even Stars and Stripes, a military-centric publication ran stories. You don't even have to look hard to find it.

Because of the alleged dumping of chemical weapons off the coast of Okinawa?

You said nuclear weapons and now you're saying chemical weapons. Regardless, it still happened in the seventies. This is a current events news site not a historical archive. Not to mention that you posted a link to an article from another news site about it, yet still claim it's not being reported on? Come on man.

Either way, you're making something out of nothing. The only things that don't get reported on is when the US military in Japan does something good.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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