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News > 374th Airlift Wing Commander takes to the air...waves
374th Airlift Wing Commander takes to the air...waves

Posted 3/20/2011   Updated 3/20/2011 Email story   Print story


by Staff Report
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

3/20/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- To keep base residents informed on the latest issues affecting Yokota Air Base, Col. Otto Feather, 374th Airlift Wing commander, took to the airwaves on AFN's Eagle 810 radio station here March 20.

In the broadcasted interview, Colonel Feather answered questions regarding base safety from radioactive contamination in the wake of the on-going emergency response at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

First, Colonel Feather discussed the safety of food products here on base following media reports of spinach and milk around Fukushima showing trace amounts of radiation.

While, according to Japanese officials, these radiation levels were not significant enough to pose any danger to health, Colonel Feather assured base residents that the base food supply was not contaminated.

"We're going to pull off the milk that's on the shelves and the eggs from after the 12th (of March), not because we have any concerns about them, but the fact is when that stuff gets out, nobody wants it and it spoils," Colonel Feather said.

From there, Colonel Feather addressed concerns about the base water supply.

"We continually sample the water and we don't have any indications that we have a problem locally," Colonel Feather said. "We get fresh mountain spring water that runs right out of the mountains and flows into our wells that are under the base. So, we're pretty good and well protected in terms of our water source."

Colonel Feather stressed that the base will continue regular scans for radiation in order to ensure the safety of base residents.

"We have a lot of checks that are going on out here. Our air here over the last week has actually been lower in terms of (radiation) numbers as we look back historically at the numbers before the disaster." Colonel Feather said. "We are still confident that our air is good."

The commander went on to say that the base is supporting efforts to gauge radiation levels around the Fukushima plant.

"I jumped on one of our helicopters yesterday, one of our UH-1's we fly out of the 459th (Airlift Squadron) and headed up to the nuke plant... though the radiation was elevated, probably 2 or 3 times what it is around here, it was still not at a threshold to cause concern." Colonel Feather said. "I was standing there 15 miles away looking at the plant and taking soil samples and we all came back home safely."

Colonel Feather then reminded base residents to keep themselves up to date on the latest official information.

"I'd ask people to look for official sources of news, stay tuned to the Commanders Access Channel, stay up on our webpage and we'll make sure everyone is up to speed," said Colonel Feather.

Colonel Feather later discussed the growing mission here at Yokota as the base conducts humanitarian airlift, supports disaster relief, manages voluntary departure flights for dependants, and prepares to bed down even more in-bound personnel in support of relief efforts.

These three missions, all simultaneously taking place here at Yokota, have kept base personnel working long hard hours over the past week.

In closing, the Colonel Feather reminded Team Yokota to maintain focus on the mission, each other and the people of Japan.

"We've got to stay focused on the mission, take care of our personal lives, take care of each other and we won't miss," Colonel Feather said. "Safety needs to be in the forefront of our minds and the people of Japan in our hearts."

3/21/2011 7:32:25 AM ET
Thanks for your updates and ours prayers go out to everyone over their. A very loving grandpa and mamaw To the wing command
james westcott, USA
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