April 12, 2017
WASHINGTON - The V-shaped runways of a new facility planned to be built in Japan's Okinawa Prefecture for the US Marine Corps will be "too short for certain aircraft." the US Government Accountability Office said in a recent report.
The report, dated last Wednesday, is referring to the two 1,800-meter runways aligned in a V shape that are planned to be constructed at a replacement facility in the Henoko coastal district in Nago, Okinawa, to take over the functions of the Futenma air base in the same southern Japan prefecture. The Futenma base has a 2,800-meter runway.
The new runways will not "adequately support" the same mission requirements as the Futenma base, the report quoted Marine Corps officials as saying.
In addition, the report warned that the loss of the Futenma base's runway "equates to the loss of an emergency landing strip for fixed-wing aircraft in the area and the loss of the United Nations use of a runway" for responding to contingencies, such as natural disasters.
The report recommended that the US secretary of defense resolve such "capability deficiencies" associated with the base relocation by, for example, selecting other runways in Okinawa that would support mission requirements.
Noting that the US Department of Defense sent a letter to the Japanese government in April 2014 seeking approval for bilateral site surveys for locations that could support contingency operations, the report claimed that not all of the site surveys have been completed. (Jiji Press)
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