U.S. Marines conduct Osprey night flying training in violation of noise-prevention agreement

U.S. Marines conduct Osprey night flying training in violation of noise-prevention agreement

At 10:24pm on October 30, MV-22 Osprey vertical take-off and landing transport aircraft flew back to Futenma Air Station after carrying out night flying training. (Photograph provided by Tetsuzo Tokeshi).


October 31, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On October 30, the U.S. Marines in Okinawa conducted night flying training for two MV-22s from Futenma Air Station. The two Osprey vertical take-off and landing transport aircraft flew back to the base after 10:00pm. The noise-prevention agreement reached between the U.S. and Japanese governments stipulates that the Marines are not to fly the aircraft after 10:00pm. With this training exercise, the U.S. military have effectively torn up the agreement just about one month since the deployment of the Opsrey to Futenma, which fuels the anger of the Okinawan people.

The Marines plan to increase flight training for the Osprey at night from 10:00pm to 7:00am, and are expected to operate the aircraft during those hours from now on.

The two MV-22s took off Futenma Air Station at 7:17pm and then 7:20pm. The aircraft were confirmed to have repeatedly circled over Camp Schwab in the Kushi district of Nago for at least 20 minutes from around 8:20pm before flying to the Iejima Auxiliary Air Base. They then repeatedly practiced stake-off and landings, and flew in a circle above the landing area until around 10:00pm. Osprey night flying training has also been confirmed as having occurred in the Northern Training Area. One MV-22 landed back at Futenma Air Station at 10:17pm, and the other at 10:24pm.

The agreement stipulates that the Marines not to conduct any operations of the Osprey during the period from 10:00pm to 6:00am unless the U.S. government specifically sees them as being necessary. The agreement reached between the U.S. and Japanese governments regarding the safety of deploying the Osprey requires the Marines to observe the noise-prevention agreement that has been put in place.

On October 30, the Marines conducted flight training for six MV-22s from Futenma Air Station. While the Marines conducted a water-discharge exercise, Osprey flew over Prefectural Road 71, with buckets suspended below them.

The Marines have been increasing night flying training since October 29. According to the Okinawa Prefectural Government and the Ginowan Municipal Government, at 7:59pm on October 29, the noise generated by the flight training reached 89.7db at Ueojana Community Hall, which is located next to the southern end of the runaway at Futenma Air Station.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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