Okinawa Assembly protests F-15 crash with resolution

The Okinawa Prefectural Assembly has put its two cents into the post-crash dissection of what happened with a U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter that crashed into the Pacific Ocean last month, condemning the Air Force as it unanimously passed a resolution protesting the incident.

The F-15 went down the morning of May 28th, about 70 kilometers east of Okinawa, after a what authorities believe was an engine malfunction.  The pilot ejected safely, and the Air Force grounded all its Okinawa-based F-15’s while a series of safety inspections wee conducted.

The Prefectural Assembly presented the protest resolution to the 18th Wing Public Affairs Officer at Kadena Air Base, Maj. Christopher Anderson.  The resolution said “this incident has impacted those in the fisheries industry and the rest of the citizens in the prefecture with great concern and fear.’  The resolution called for the Air Force to suspend training with the F-15’s until a cause for the crash is determined.

The crash took place near lucrative fishing grounds near Kunigami Village, and that, says the Assembly, could “have directly affected fishermen operating in the area, and triggered a terrible tragedy.”  The resolution slammed the Air Force decision to bring the fighters back online after only two days and without determining the crash cause, calling it “truly regrettable.”

The Air Force noted it inspected some 50 F-15’s using more than 2,000 military personnel.  It says an accident investigation report will be issued within 30 ~ 90 days.