Remaining three Ospreys to come to Okinawa within weeks

The U.S. Marine Corps says that the three MV-22 Osprey aircraft still in Iwakuni will move to MCAS Futenma, their permanent home in Okinawa, over the next few weeks.

The first six tilt-rotor transport planes moved to Futenma Monday to prepare for the start of full-fledged operations despite strong local demonstrations and opposition.  Another three arrived on Tuesday.

According to sources in Japan’s Defense Ministry, some of the three Ospreys remaining at the Iwakuni base need additional maintenance work, including replacement of some parts. Sources say if replacement parts have to be shipped from the United States, their deployment to Futenma may be delayed.

Twelve Ospreys were transported to MCAS Iwakuni from the United States by ship in late July ahead of their deployment at Futenma. Two of the six still at Iwakuni have not conducted test flights yet, according to Iwakuni City officials.

A total of 24 of the aircraft is eventually expected to be deployed to MCAS Futenma.