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Ie mayor wants explanation on paradropping mishap

Date Posted: 2002-11-02

A parachute drop practice of supplies went astray at the Ie Island practice range causing the load to fall outside the target area on a farmerís field, Oct 25. According to Kadena officials, three 5-gallon (18.9 liter) plastic water containers covered in special 3-inc thick (7.6 cm), corrugated cardboard were dropped outside a designated drop zone on Ie Jima during routine training. The drop was made from a Kadena-based MC-130 assigned to the 17th Special Operations Squadron. They said that tthe 15-foot, (4.55 meter) strap holding the parachute which did not open and bundle had to be cut away from the aircraft for flight safety reasons.

The bundle, weighing 75.3 kg, was recovered a short time later after landing on a farmerís field. The bundle reportedly landed about 100 meters from the site where the farmer was working. A representative from the mayorís office was on the scene during recovery of the bundle. After the incident, Ie Mayor Kiyonori Shimabukuro demanded that the military stop training at the site until the cause of the mishap is fully explained.

Kadena officials say that an investigation to the matter is on the way, but they stressed that before cutting the load loose, the aircrew made sure that no one on the ground was in danger. They added that as always, the safety is the foremost concern during any operation.

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