Rear Admiral Brian P. Fort
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan
The Incident of a Fallen Part from the U.S. Navy F/A-18 Fighter Attack Jet (Protest)
On February 12, 2020, an accident happened where a refueling cover of an F/A-18 fell from the aircraft.
Although no damages to the prefectural residents nor to their properties have been reported, it is extremely regrettable as a series of the U.S. Military aircraft accidents brings about great concerns to the quiet living environment and lives of the residents of Okinawa who are forced to live side by side with the U.S. military bases on a daily basis.
Especially regarding the U.S. Navy aircraft, the accident happened within a month after the accident of the MH-60 helicopter which occurred on January 25th. We have no choice but to doubt the legitimacy of safety standards of the U.S. Forces.
The U.S. Force confirmed that the refueling cover was missing on the day of the accident, yet no report was made to the OPG until the evening of the next day. Regardless of the affiliation of the aircraft, information should be promptly provided to the local municipalities.
The Okinawa Prefectural Government strongly protests against the accident and the belated reporting to the OPG, and strongly calls for the thorough investigation into the cause. We also insist to receive an explanation on the details of the accident such as the location where the object fell. To prevent a similar accident from occurring, we strongly request implementing effective preventive measures, strict and complete adherence to the safety standards in the future, and prompt reporting when an accident occurs.
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.