Lieutenant General H. Stacy Clardy, III
III Marine Expeditionary Force
Re: A Lost Part from a CH-53E (Protest)
This memo is pertaining to an incident where a window from a CH-53E fell onto off the east coast of Okinawa Prefecture’s main island, which occurred at approximately 5:30 pm on August 27th.
As for CH-53E belonging to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, some of the same type of the aircrafts have caused incidents such as one happened where a piece of blade tape from CH-53E fell onto Uranishi Junior High School tennis court this June, and another incident happened where a wind frame fell onto playground of Futenma Daini Elementary School in Ginowan City in December 2017.
Whenever incident or accident happens, the U.S. military explains that it would conduct thorough inspection and take preventive measures. However, the incident happened. Therefore, we must say that preventive measures for helicopters are inadequate.
Regarding accident and incident reporting system, We, Okinawa Prefectural Government, have requested the U.S. forces and the governments of Japan and the U.S to immediately report to us if accident or incident happened. However, the U.S. forces made the first report on August 29th which is two days after the incident. Therefore, it is hard to contain our resentment.
The Okinawa Prefectural Government strongly protests against this incident and requests the U.S. military to suspend operation of the same type of the aircraft for a week in order to conduct investigation to find the cause of the incident, report findings to us, and take effective preventive measures as well as review and improve reporting system.
Governor of Okinawa Prefecture
Note: This document has been translated from the Japanese original for reference purposes only. In the event of any discrepancy between this translated document and the Japanese original, the original shall prevail.