Texas Squadron training in Hawaii before heading to Japan - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Texas Squadron training in Hawaii before heading to Japan

The Cowboys from Fort Worth, Texas have arrived in Kaneohe, but they're not riding horses they're flying fighter jets. The nickname for the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 112 is the Cowboys. They flew in on a dozen F18A jets.

The fighter jets carry 16,000 pounds of fuel. Today they don't have live weapons. But they will next week when they head to the Big Island for some live fire training at the Pohakuloa Training Area.

"Inert 25 pound bombs to inert 1,000 pound bombs, and then we have the high explosive ordnance that we'll be doing out there as well. When we carry ordnance we do not fly over any island. We keep it over water," said Lt. Col. Kevin Paetzold, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 112 (VMFA-112).

They'll be in Hawaii training for the next three weeks then they're off to Japan as part of a support mission to be ready for anything, namely North Korea.

"Mainly our mission is just to be out here in case certain threats erupt, then we would be called to support and defend Japan and the allying countries," said Lt. Col. Paetzold. "We are here mainly as a deterrent for the North Korean threat."

In the meantime the Marine Corps has been trying to keep the peace on the home front in regard to noise complaints.

"Once it starts and these planes start flying over the top of my house my nerves get so shot I'm running for my medicine bottle. I have to take Xanex and other things. I mean I shouldn't have to do that," said Julie Johnson.

She lives right on the Kaneohe Bay coast and says the planes rattle her house. She also says the flying and noise is constant.

So why did she move near a military base which has been there for more than half a century?

"I moved here in 94 and it was not happening in 1994. I rented for a year, year and a half before we purchased and I wouldn't have bought it had this been going on. This was not happening to the degree that someone over there has created. It's almost like an airport over there now," said Johnson.

Not true says the Marines, who say more planes used the base in the 90's than do today. Regardless the F18's don't plan to be in the air in the early morning. They also expect to be back on the ground by 10:00 pm at the latest.

"We're not here to make anybody mad we're just here for the mission and proceed on," said Lt. Col. Paetzold.

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

 

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