Okinawa 1988-1991

Okinawa 1988-1991

Monday, August 15, 2005

Ie Shima airstrip

A Harrier sits on the newly built airstrip on Ie Shima.
My unit MWSS-172 was ordered in 1989 to construct an airstrip on the island. Although under heavy protest from the locals who did not want us there. The protestors would be the least of our concerns, once we began excavating the site we discovered hundreds of unexploded bomb's leftover from WW2. Needless to say when you hit one of them bomb's with a D7 Dozer they detonate. Luckily they had been in the ground and water long enough that they usually just smoked alot. We dug tank traps, and had EOD(Explosive ordinance disposal)come in and check them just to make sure, then disposed of most of them in the tank traps.
Once the airstrip was completed me and another Marine spent a week or so island hopping from Okinawa to Ie Shima aboard CH-46, and CH-53 helicopter's to make sure the runway was kept clear for the Harrier's.


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