US agency approves Air Force plan for bombing practice

Updated: Aug. 31, 2017 at 5:22 AM HST
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LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - The National Marine Fisheries Service has approved a five-year Air Force plan for bombing practice at sea off the Hawaiian Island of Kauai.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the plan reduces the munitions used and increases monitoring for impacts to whales and dolphins.

Earthjustice attorney David Henkin, who previously criticized the plan as not doing enough to protect marine mammals, said Tuesday the Air Force "did beef up the monitoring, which is a positive development."

The Air Force says it needs the annual at-sea training at Kauai's Pacific Missile Range Facility up to Aug. 20, 2022, due to unspecified national security threats that likely revolve around China, with increased air-to-surface exercises directed by the Pentagon.

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