Defense

April 5, 2013

Hagel details U.S.-Japan consolidation plan for Okinawa

The United States and Japan have announced a new plan that will reduce the U.S. footprint on the island of Okinawa while ensuring an operationally effective U.S. force presence in the region, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said April 5.

The plan, released today in Tokyo, is a key step forward in implementing the 2006 Realignment Roadmap. It details every step needed for consolidating U.S. forces in Okinawa and gives conditions-based dates for the land returns.

When fully implemented, the plan will result in the return to Japan of about 2,500 acres of land now used by U.S. forces. The returns are essential steps in the realignment agreement, officials said, aiming to ensure a stable presence for U.S. forces in Japan.

“Our plan calls for the immediate return – upon the completion of certain necessary procedures – of certain facilities and areas on Okinawa,” Hagel said in a statement announcing the plan. “The United States will then return additional locations once replacement facilities are constructed, and when a sizeable contingent of U.S. Marine Corps forces relocate … outside Japan.” The Marines will move to Guam and Hawaii, he added.

The secretary thanked Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for his personal leadership and attention to the plan, which required months of close coordination between senior leaders from the two countries and from U.S. Forces Japan and the Marine Corps.

The Defense Department and Japan’s Defense Ministry will work to implement the plan, Hagel said, in concert with working to resolve replacement facility issues to avoid the indefinite use of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma at Camp Schwab-Henoko Bay while maintaining alliance capabilities.

Progress last month on the replacement facility includes a landfill permit request filed by the Japanese government with the Okinawa prefectural government for the facility, and a Japanese contribution of $114.3 million to build facilities for U.S. Marine units relocating to Guam.

“Now more than ever, it is essential that the United States maintain a geographically distributed and sustainable force throughout Asia that can provide for the protection of Japan and our other allies, and U.S. interests,” Hagel said. “We are resolved to focus our bilateral efforts on modernizing the alliance to meet emerging security challenges in the region.”

Hagel said completion of the plan shows what can be achieved through hard work associated with the ongoing U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region.

“I look forward to continuing to partner with Prime Minister Abe and his administration to advance the bilateral security relationship of the United States and Japan,” he added.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin OíShea

U.S. Forces display military might at Farnborough

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin O’Shea Capt. Tom Meyers discusses the F-15E Strike Eagle’s capabilities with spectators July 17, 2014, at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. Public access was granted ...
 
 
raptors4

Raptors, Falcons fuel up in desert skies

Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, Ju...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Sun sets on Red Flag 14-3

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler The sun sets behind a row of F-16 Fighting Falcons during Red Flag 14-3, July 16, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Red Flag provides a series of intense air-to-air combat scenario...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Siuta B. Ika

AOC integral to Red Flag 14-3 operations

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Siuta B. Ika Members of the Air and Space Operations Center work during Red Flag 14-3 operations July 22, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Armed with personnel from intelligence and communicati...
 
 
red-flag1

Red Flag night operations soar into darkness

Singapore air force aircraft maintainers walk down the flightline looking for foreign object debris before night operations begin during Red Flag 14-3, July 16 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Red Flag exercises involve air and g...
 
 
Air Force photo by Ken LaRock

First aviation mechanic display added to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

Air Force photo by Ken LaRock A bronze bust honoring the first aviation mechanic, Charles E. Taylor, is now on permanent display in the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force’s Early Years Gallery. The museum is located ne...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>