Col. Michael A. Thomas
353rd Special Operations Group
A Fallen Part from MC-130 Special Operation Aircraft (Protest)
This protest is pertaining to an accident which occurred on October 18, 2019. A part from MC-130J special operation aircraft which belongs to 353rd Special Operations Group fell on a ground.
Although the accident occurred within the U.S military facilities, aircraft related accidents including parts falling from aircraft should never occur as they could lead to serious accidents involving human lives. Also such accidents cause great anxiety as well as doubt and distrust against aircraft maintenance and safety measures by the U.S. Forces among the residents of Okinawa who must live as neighbors of the military bases.
Furthermore, although there was a report on the accident through the U.S. Embassy in Japan, information changed several times and no information was provided for more than a week despite the fact that the U.S. Forces found the part on the day of the accident.
Information regarding the U.S Forces-related incidents and accidents which occurred in Okinawa should be promptly provided to local municipalities regardless of the affiliation of aircraft.
The U.S. Forces’ response is truly regrettable since we made a strong request to urgently review and improve the reporting system in the occurrence of accidents when a window from CH-53E helicopter fell on a ground in August this year.
The Okinawa Prefectural Government strongly protests against the delayed report on the occurrence and details of the accident, and strongly calls for thorough investigation of the cause and implementing effective preventive measures.
Further, despite installing a prompt reporting system of accidents was agreed upon in the Japan-US Joint Committee, it took more than a week since the occurrence of the accident until detailed information was provided. Therefore, we also strongly request that a reporting system of accidents be reviewed and improved in the Japan-US Joint Committee and the results be disclosed.
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.