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Kadena residents angry as military keeps watch

Date Posted: 2004-11-26

‘Spy Hill’ is an area adjacent to Kadena Air Base, from which local residents keep an eye on the base and its goings-on.

Aircraft activities are monitored, to include types of aircraft taking off and landing, and emergency actions on the flightline. The activities are often photographed.

Military officials are now doing the same, taking pictures of the people taking pictures from ‘Spy Hill’, and it’s not playing well in Kadena Town. A newspaper editor questions why the Air Force is doing it, “What is it for? Why do they take our pictures, and how are they going to use the pictures too?”

Base security is the reason, says a Kadena Public Affairs Office spokesman. He said the camera watching the base perimeter is part of upgraded security systems. “This is one of the military’s guard systems, and we just check safety. The information goes to the Control Center or the general’s office.”

Tourists frequent the popular site, and the PAO representative noted that “Spy Hill has a lot of visitors and the military has to be sure in watching for terrorists.” He cited the Iraqi war situation as another reason for intensified security.

Locals don’t care. “Our watching the military is our duty,” they say, “but why should Americans watch us? Why do they have to watch tourists? Do they think we are the terrorists?”

Kadena Town’s mayor says he’s going to check on why the camera went in, and told residents “when I find out why, I”ll let you know.”

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