Kadena reviews latest barrel test results

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. James Hecker
  • 18th Wing commander
Men and Women of the Kadena Air Base Community,

Earlier this year, I published a statement to our community in reference to the discovery of unexplained barrels under Okinawa City's soccer field between the Okinawa Expressway and Prefectural Highway 23.

At that time, I told you the discovery of the barrels was being thoroughly investigated by our host nation, and they planned to publish a report later in the year.

On Monday, July 7, representatives from the Okinawa Defense Bureau provided the copy of the report for the survey/sampling to the 18th Wing. This report contains hundreds of pages of technical documents and a 31-page executive summary. However, pertinent parts of these documents must first be translated before our analysis can begin.

I understand that not knowing what was contained in the barrels can cause concern, and I share those concerns. I guarantee you that the safety of our children and the community is my No. 1 priority. I want to assure you that I'm fully focused on this issue and intend to share these results with you as quickly as I can.

As I mentioned earlier this year, there is no evidence the materials from the barrels have migrated at all. Moreover, the entire space between the discovery site and the base is designed to draw substances away from the schools. Based on the site set-up alone, it is highly improbable that any material from the Okinawa City soccer field could have reached the schools on Kadena Air Base.

Additional background information is available here.

YouTube video clips of the last town hall meeting are available here.

If you have any questions, please send them to the commander's hotline at  18wg.cchotline@us.af.mil.