The U.S. Navy will conduct night landing practice on Iwojima Island for about 30 carrier-based from the USS Independence beginning next Saturday, the Defense Facilities Administration Agency said Friday.
The practice sessions, designed to raise pilot proficiency for actual aircraft carrier landings, will last until July 1 and precede the departure of the Independence in July from Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture.
F-14 Tomcats, F/A-18 Hornets and EA-6B Prowlers are slated to participate in the NLP sessions, which will involve about 300 servicemen. In the event of unfavorable weather on the island, located about 1,200 km south of Tokyo, the drills will be held at Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture, Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo, Atsugi Naval Air Facility in Kanagawa Prefecture and Iwakuni Air Station in Yamaguchi Prefecture. In this case, the practice periods would be conducted until July 3, and take place from 8 to 10 p.m.
The last NLP conducted by the U.S. military on mainland Japan infuriated local citizens. In January, the navy announced NLP drills on short notice before deploying to the Persian Gulf.
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