Stop the bombing of Farallon de Medinilla in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

  • by: Mike Towai
  • recipient: President Barrack O'Bama
To preserve the natural habitats of the endangered migratory species of frigate birds and marine life that call this island home.
We the concerned citizens and natives of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands would like to bring to your attention the grave danger and injustice being committed on one of our islands to the north called "Farallon De Mendinilla" or as the military refer to it as "No'os".

We strongly urge you to order the cease and desist of all bombings and training conducted on this island as it is destroying the natural habitats of endangered species and marine life that live here. 

On February 25, 2011, the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and units from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) were scheduled to wrap up Cope North, an annual military exercise run in Guam that is designed to improve US-Japan joint air operations in the Pacific.

According to a US military news release, the 2011 Cope North, which began February 13, was the largest "ever executed by Pacific Air Forces, with nearly 50 percent more sorties than last year's exercise."   The U.S. has around 600 participants and the JASDF 300 participants involved in the exercise (700 personnel from both countries participated in the 2010 exercise).  No'os is the unfortunate site of other military exercises, such as Valiant Shield and Koa Lightning.

A key element of the exercise is five days of live-fire bombing of the island of No'os from morning to night. This live-fire training comes on the heels of 3-4 days of US Air Force bombing of the island at the end of January. When trainings are scheduled, authorities issue strong warnings in advance to fishermen, commercial pilots, marine tour operators and anyone else to steer well clear of the uninhabited island.  This types of training must no longer continue on this island and has to stop.

The United States military has used No'os as a bombing range since the end of World War II.  Based on international conventions between the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Russia, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) of 1918 is one of the oldest US conservation laws. It prohibits harm to migratory species by means of hunting, pursuing, wounding, killing, possessing or transporting any migratory bird, nest, egg, or part, with the exception of cases governed by permits issued in accordance with rules and regulations. Under the Act, a migratory bird is defined as "any species or family of birds that live, reproduce or migrate within or across international borders at some point during their annual life cycle."

We ask that your administration will heed our call to preserve what little natural resources we have on this island and protect the natural habitat of these migratory birds and marine life, by ordering an executive order to cease any and all further trainings conducted on this island.  Please prevent the further killing of these birds and marine life.

Thank you for considering our comments.
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