November 8, 2019 (by Lieven Dewitte) - A U.S. F-16 fighter jet accidentally released a 230 kilogram (500lb) inert bomb during onto private property near a firing and bombing range near Misawa Air Base in northeastern Japan.
USAF F-16C dropping an inert GBU-38 on Draughon Range.
Besides a crater in the ground, no one was injured and no buildings were damaged in the incident, which took place during a training mission at around 18:35h Wednesday.
The U.S. military reported the incident to the ministry Thursday morning and suspended similar training missions with dummy bombs for the time being. The cause of the incident is still under investigation,
The dummy bomb, filled with concrete instead of gunpowder, landed in a meadow about 5 kilometers west of the training site, which straddles the city of Misawa and the village of Rokkasho, according to the ministry officials.
The training site is located about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of U.S. Misawa Air Base, which the fighter jet belongs to. A post office and a school are located within a 5-kilometer radius of the training site.
The Draughon range is managed by the U.S. military but it is also used by the Japanese Air Self-Defense Forces. It is the only area on the Japan's main island of Honshu where air-to-ground firing and bombing can be conducted.
In 2005 teher was a similar incident when aMisawa F-16 dumped a practise bomb in sea
and in 2006 when a practice bomb fell off a Misawa F-16 into the ocean
In February 2018, an F-16 from Misawa was forced to drop its fuel tanks into a lake because of an engine fire. The jet landed safely with no injuries.