MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
The first two KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron-152 (VMGR-152) are scheduled to depart Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma July 8 and fly to MCAS Iwakuni, beginning the official transfer of the squadron from Okinawa to mainland Japan.
This is a major step in the effort to realign the presence and distribute the activities of U.S. forces in Japan. The movement of these aircraft, along with the work over the past years to prepare facilities, and the work which will continue in the future to complete the move of the entire squadron, represents an important milestone accomplishment in the implementation of the final report of the Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO final report) and the 2006 Roadmap. The transfer of VMGR-152 and its associated aircraft, equipment, personnel and dependents, to Iwakuni also highlights our steady and consistent bilateral cooperation with the Government of Japan (GOJ), the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG), and the communities surrounding MCAS Futenma, as well as Iwakuni City Government and the communities surrounding MCAS Iwakuni.
The KC-130J squadron transfer is an appropriate step in consolidating and realigning forces, and still be able to effectively respond to crises. The transfer of VMGR-152 benefits all in several ways, including a U.S. Marine Corps force posture in the Asia-Pacific that is operationally ready and more geographically distributed.
Although VMGR-152 will be based in MCAS Iwakuni, due to Marine Corps operational requirements and inter-related missions with our Okinawa-based ground forces, KC-130J aircraft will routinely fly into Okinawa and continue to provide proper support. Specifically, the KC-130J aircraft will continue to use MCAS Futenma, Ie Shima, Kadena Air Base and aerial training areas in and around Okinawa in support of future operations, exercises and training, in part because ground forces of the Marine Air Ground Task Force are based in Okinawa. Training is an essential requirement for pilots and crews to support the objectives of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security under the Japan U.S. defense alliance.
In response to the interest of the Japanese media, and for the benefit of the local community, IIIMEF/MCIPAC Consolidated Public Affairs Office and MCAS Iwakuni Public Affairs Office will provide an opportunity for coverage of the transfer of the first two aircraft of VMGR-152 aboard Marine Corps Air Stations Futenma and Iwakuni.
Media members interested in covering the event at MCAS Futenma must contact the III MEF/MCIPAC Consolidated Public Affairs Office (CPAO) at OkinawaPao@usmc.mil no later than 4 p.m., July 1. Please include in the e-mail: full name; agency; job title; citizenship; vehicle make, model, color and license plate number; and a cell phone number of each media member attending. Registered media will receive additional information from CPAO in the near future.
Media members interested in covering the event at MCAS Iwakuni must contact the MCAS Iwakuni Public Affairs office at 0827-79-5551 no later than 4 p.m., July 1. Please include in the fax/e-mail: full name; agency; job title; citizenship; current address; date of birth; and a cell phone number of each media member attending. Registered media will receive additional information from Iwakuni PAO in the near future.
Media are reminded that even after detailed information about the event is provided the event date and time are still subject to change on extremely short notice. The Public Affairs Office will facilitate media notification as early as feasible if the schedule changes.