Last three Ospreys arrive at Futenma

The last tree of a total of 12 Osprey MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft arrived at MCAS Futenma on Saturday. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Erik S. Brooks Jr.)

The first squadron of twelve MV-22 Osprey are now all in their home base of MCAS Futenma as the last three flew in from Iwakuni on Saturday. The aircraft landed at the Okinawa base just before 3 p.m.

The Marine Corps say that a second squadron will be deployed by 2014.

The deployment of the Osprey aircraft is meeting fierce local resistance as the public and local politicians have taken an issue with the safety of the Osprey. Adding fuel to the fire, opponents of the deployment claim that the strict operation rules agreed to in negotiations between the Marines and the Japanese government officials, have already been broken. Specifically, they claim that witnesses have observed the aircraft flying over urban areas in the helicopter mode when the rules call for such flights to be restricted to airspace over the U.S. military installations.

The Marines are reportedly planning to conduct landing practice on the auxiliary airfield on Ie Island, and low-altitude training and landings in the Marines’ Northern Training Area.  They will also fly to Kadena Airbase to replenish their ammunition.

In addition, the Osprey squadron will train low-altitude flight at MCAS Iwakuni and Camp Fuji in Shizuoka Prefecture in mainland Japan, supposedly two or three days a month.

Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima is scheduled to hold talks with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in Tokyo, Tuesday. He is traveling to Tokyo to demand the withdrawal of the Ospreys from Okinawa.

  • ewacloser

    ….”Specifically, they claim that witnesses have observed the aircraft flying over urban areas in the helicopter mode when the rules call for such flights to be restricted to airspace over the U.S. military installations”. Of course they will claim violations, what else did anyone expect.

    • shaft

      are you calling the Okinawans liars now? did you personally oversee each and every operational flight of ALL the ospreys?

  • Miyagi Chatan Cho

    To many are blinded by personal bias and hatred rather than being educated in the understanding on what both parties can gain from each other. The local’s are being shown propaganda rather than the correct and useful info these awesome aircraft bring. Don’t be another statistic of youth hatred and misunderstanding of propaganda.

  • Miyagi Chatan Cho

    The MV-22 are really unique and awesome aircraft’s. Imagen all the support these aircrafts could have brought during the major tsunamie a year ago… I’m just saying were not seeing the support and great asset the Osprey brings. The local’s need to see the benefits of this rather than the verbal propaganda they bring.

    • shaft

      what are these benefits to which you refer to? and who do they benefit exactly?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Harper/1485921764 Ken Harper

      There are no benifits for the locals. They just want the Funtenma base closed. They felt that way when I was stationed there.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BZ7ZTAMG35HXKUTBCEGPTUJTLU Michelle

    Did locals protest when a JASDF helo panel fell off in flight? No. Did they protest when F-22 Raptors had problems to the point that pilots would not fly them? No. Did they protest when that China Air commercial plane burst into flames? No they did not. So it’s not about safety now is it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Harper/1485921764 Ken Harper

    V-22 is too dangerous to be based at Futenma. I live near the Boening plant in Ridley Park,PA, where they manufacture the V-22. Keep hearing about all the continuing problems with it. When there is a crash on Okinawa, just hope nobody gets killed. The V-22 needs highly skilled pilots & mechanics.

    • http://www.facebook.com/JDKeeling J.D. Keeling

      Ken, do you think the Marine Corps is in the business of putting mediocre skilled pilots and mechanics in charge of Marines’ lives? And the town you live in produces less than half of the MV-22 so you should look up some facts before blasting what you “keep hearing about”.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Harper/1485921764 Ken Harper

        Yes, the other half is made in Texas. The facts are that the people in Okinawa didn’t sign up to put their families lives in danger with the V-22 being sent to Futenma ! Don’t see many U S marines at the Boening plant being trained.

        • http://www.facebook.com/JDKeeling J.D. Keeling

          Okay so because US Marines aren’t trained at the plant that makes half the plain, they are obviously under-trained? The people of many governments don’t sign up for things. They didn’t sign up for that, and the US government wouldn’t be stupid enough to put an aircraft there that wasn’t on-par with our safety standards. Japan is a major ally and the US wouldn’t be dumb enough to jeopardize that. It is safer than most in our fleet. Check your facts again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ken-Harper/1485921764 Ken Harper

    The MV-22 will become a problem for the residents who live near Futenma. After the first one crashes.