12 more Ospreys to come to Futenma

According to Japan Defense Ministry, the U.S. Marine Corps plan to go ahead with their schedule to deploy 12 more MV-22 Osprey aircraft to MCAS Futenma in August.

The U.S. military told the ministry that the tilt-rotor planes are scheduled to arrive at the MCAS Iwakuni in the last week of July. Before being flown to Futenma, the Ospreys will go through maintenance and test flights in Iwakuni, which is the same procedure as the earlier Ospreys went through.

The first 12 Ospreys were deployed in the MCAS Futenma amid strong opposition from local politicians and mass demonstrations. The Ospreys are intended to replace the aging CH-46 helicopters, and the plans to increase the number of Osprey aircraft on Okinawa to a total of 24 were announced about the same time as the first batch was deployed.

No more Ospreys are planned to be deployed in Okinawa or elsewhere in Japan.

To placate local opposition to the deployment, the Japanese and U.S. governments are considering transferring some of the night-time and low-altitude flight training from Okinawa to other parts of Japan, most likely to Iwakuni and Camp Fuji.