North Supports Sticking with Okinawa Plan

Pacific Air Forces boss Gen. Gary North reiterated USAF’s desire to keep Kadena Air Base on Okinawa separate from the Marine Corps air station due for relocation from Futenma, south of the base. “I’m very comfortable with the lay down that we have at Kadena right now,” said North, when asked about this scenario, reported Japan’s Kyodo News. Led by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), a group of senators last year recommended that the Defense Department consider moving Marine Corps assets to Kadena and relocating some Air Force aircraft and personnel from Kadena to Guam as one option instead of establishing an expensive replacement facility for the Marines at Camp Schwab on the island. The United States and Japan agreed to the Camp Schwab plan in 2006, but the senators contended that it is unfeasible. However, North said the original plan remains a “very solid proposal.” The United States and Japan should “continue to do the work that they have agreed upon,” he underscored, according to the newspaper.