Nighttime hovercraft training irks Japanese fishermen, townspeople
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — More nighttime Navy hovercraft training off Japan’s southern coast is sparking noise complaints and fears of collisions with local fishing boats.
The Saikai City-based Naval Beach Unit 7, which operates seven landing craft air cushions, or LCACs, that ferry Marines from ship to shore, began quarterly nighttime training in November.
The drills, which were done during deployments in the past, are happening in Japanese waters so that crews can get enough “flight hours” to stay proficient, said Cmdr. Bob Jones, the unit’s leader.
However, locals have complained about noise and safety, citing an agreement made with Japan’s Defense Ministry when Saikai agreed to host the hovercraft in 2013. The agreement asks the Navy not to train after dark.
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