Ospreys already stir concerns over flight patterns
The MV-22 Osprey is barely ready to begin operations from Futenma Marine Corps Air Station in Ginowan City, but already it’s raising new ire from citizens from Kochi to Okinawa over the way the hybrid tilt-rotor plane is flying.
The agreements between Japan and the United States stipulated that the Osprey should fly over water as much as possible, and on Okinawa it’s to be in airplane mode when flying away from U.S. military installations. As the last three Ospreys made the trek from Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station in mainland Japan, it flew over the city of Shimanto in Kochi Prefecture. While technically a legal move, it’s stirred additional controversy.
The big issue is here, though, as Okinawa residents watched an Osprey flying in vertical mode over a heavily populated area of Ginowan City on Tuesday. That is not supposed to happen, they say, per the agreement between the two governments.
As Kochi Prefecture is on one of the planned routes for mainland flight training, it is continuing to oppose the deployment of the MV-22 Ospreys in Japan.