Okinawa residents expected to have enough people to ring Kadena Air Base on the Japanese island of Okinawa during a weekend protest, but their numbers fell short of their 20,000-person goal by nearly 5,000, reports Stars and Stripes. Many island residents have complained for years about the growing military presence and the noise generated by USAF aircraft. The latter complaint prompted the US Air Force to send Kadena F-15s to Japan for a recent exercise.
The Air Force will begin its 71st annual Operation Christmas Drop on Dec. 4. The weeklong exercise is a yearly tradition that delivers supplies such as food, fishing equipment, school books, and clothes to remote islands in the Pacific. It is the longest-running Department of Defense humanitarian mission.