|E-2 Hawkeye (Image: Wiki Commons)|
TOKYO, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Five U.S. military E-2D early warning airplanes arrived at the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in western Japan on Wednesday, in the first phase of the relocation of an air wing from a U.S. base near Tokyo.
The E-2D "Hawkeye" planes, an all-weather, carrier-capable tactical airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft, are among 61 aircraft that will be relocated from the Naval Air Facility Atsugi in Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo, to the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture.
The move is based on an accord reached between Japan and the United States in 2006 on the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan.
The pact will also involve attack aircraft and other planes that have been operating from the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, which is based at the Yokosuka naval base in Kanagawa Prefecture near Tokyo
The move from Atsugi was also based on the government's bid to reduce noise pollution suffered by local residents largely related to the aircraft deployed on the carrier.
Local residents have filed a number of lawsuits calling for an early realignment of the planes.
The relocation is expected to be completed by next spring, with the Iwakuni base set to accommodate 120 aircraft and 3,800 extra personal.
Read the full story at Xinhua