U.S. deployed MQ9 reconnaissance drones to be operated at MSDF base

U.S. deployed MQ9 reconnaissance drones to be operated at MSDF base

KANOYA, Kagoshima - The eight U.S. MQ 9 reconnaissance drones set to be deployed temporarily to the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force MSDF base will be operated safety, U.S. Forces Japan Deputy Commander James B. Wellons told Kanoya Mayor Shigeru Nakanishi.

Wellons made a statement at the Aug. 4 meeting with Nakanishi at the city hall.

Nakanishi told Wellons: "There mustn't be any incidents or accidents caused by U.S. military personnel or their affiliates." He asked the brigadier general that U.S. personnel be fully educated and trained regarding the planned MQ 9 deployment at the MSDF Kanoya Air Base.

Wellons told the mayor of Kagoshima Prefecture city that U.S. forces appreciated residents' understanding of the deployment's importance, and that they will pay close attention to ensuring safe operations.

The rest of the meeting was closed to the media. After the talks, Nakanishi told the press, "We have a clear response that U.S. forces will address residents' anxieties and concerns." He said that the U.S. military seems to be willing to interact with residents while performing their duties. Wellons and his party later visited the Kagoshima Prefectural Government Headquarters and met the Kagoshima Deputy Gov. Naruaki Fujimoto and other officials asked for their understanding of the deployment.

The plan will allow eight MQ 9s to be stationed at the Kanoya Air Base for a year from September, with 150 to 200 U.S. personnel needed to operate the aircraft at hotels in the city. Two advance parties have arrived at the Kanoya MSDF base.