F-22 Fighters to Be Stationed at U.S. Base in Okinawa
Tokyo, Nov. 1 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said Tuesday that about a dozen F-22 stealth fighters will be deployed rotationally to the U.S. military's Kadena Air Base in the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa.
The U.S. military will begin the deployment as a provisional measure early this month as F-15 fighter jets currently stationed at the base are aging. Tokyo was informed of the move from the U.S. side.
According to Hamada, the U.S. military said that it will retire its F-15 jets at the base gradually over the next two years and instead station permanent units with more advanced capabilities, while its final plan on fighter deployment is still being developed.
The U.S. military plans to deploy F-22 stealth fighters on rotation at the Kadena base on a semiannual basis for the time being, Hamada added.
About a dozen F-15 jets will return to the United States within a few weeks, while around the same number of F-22 fighters will be sent over to the base.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]