Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

US F-15 fighter jet crashes near Japan’s Okinawa - Kyodo

US fighter jet crashes off Okinawa US fighter jet crashes into sea off Japan - reports
Ellis Copeland | 13 June, 2018, 11:42

A U.S. F-15 fighter jet crashed off Okinawa Prefecture on June 11, drawing strong words from increasingly frustrated Japanese defense officials and local leaders.

The craft had taken off from the US Air Force's Kadena Base in Okinawa at around 6.40am local time on Monday (10.40pm Sunday GMT). He is reported to have a broken leg, but is otherwise safe.

These include an object weighing 1.4kg dropping off a US F-15 fighter jet during a flight in Okinawa in February, while a MV-22 Osprey crash landed into water, injuring two people, last year.

The base is the US's main hub of airpower in the Pacific, according to its website.

US Forces Japan confirmed the incident, which happened during a routine training mission.

A series of accidents involving US military aircraft have stoked tensions and in January US Defence Secretary James Mattis apologised to his Japanese counterpart over the incidents.

"I want to firmly demand safe flights", he said adding that he has asked the USA military to implement safety management thoroughly and take measures to prevent a recurrence.

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Japan has about 200 F-15s deployed as the main aircraft of the Air Self-Defense Force.

"The pilot successfully ejected and was safely recovered by search and rescue teams".

Okinawa has seen a series of crashes involving other USA military aircraft over the years.

Significant maintenance issues regarding F-15s have been on the radar in the United States, forcing a portion of the Air National Guard's fleet to be grounded in March.

Okinawa government officials asked the US military to suspend F-15 flights until their safety could be confirmed, Kyodo reported.

The Japanese government is therefore moving ahead with the plan to relocate the airbase from an urban area in central Okinawa to the less populated Henoko district.

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