Tags: marine corps | okinawa | commander | fired

USMC Removes Okinawa Commander Over 'Loss of Trust, Confidence'

USMC Removes Okinawa Commander Over 'Loss of Trust, Confidence'
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By    |   Wednesday, 06 June 2018 07:54 AM

The U.S. Marine Corps has removed its commander at Air Station Futenma in Okinawa, Japan because of a "loss of trust and confidence in his ability to lead his command," according to official statements from the military.

The commander, Col. Mark Coppess, was removed on Tuesday by Marine Corps Installations Pacific Chief Brig. Gen. Paul Rock, Stars and Stripes reports, quoting a III Marine Expeditionary Force statement.

The statement did not elaborate further, notes NPR. 

Coppess took over at Futenma on June 4, 2017, and Col. David Steele is to assume command of the air station on Wednesday, Stars and Stripes reported.

The base is home to approximately 3,000 Marines from the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, along with other units, and is located on an island deemed important for deterring aggressions from North Korea and China.

However, locals have opposed the air base, pushing to relocate it to northern Okinawa. People living near the base have complained that aircraft parts have been falling near local schools, and in January, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis apologized to Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera after several issues, including emergency landings of USMC helicopters based in Okinawa, noted Stars and Stripes.

Coppess' dismissal comes after the commander of the USMC Japan-based MV-22 Osprey squadron was removed following several accidents, including last July when three Marines were killed in a Osprey crash during a training exercise. near the east coast of Australia.

The Marines grounded all of its aircraft temporarily after the tilt-rotor aircraft crashed in August 2017. However, The Japan Times, quoting a U.S. defense official, said Coppess' dismissal had nothing to do with the string of accidents.

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The U.S. Marine Corps has removed its commander at Air Station Futenma in Okinawa, Japan because of a "loss of trust and confidence in his ability to lead his command."
marine corps, okinawa, commander, fired
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2018-54-06
Wednesday, 06 June 2018 07:54 AM
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