US marines carry out MV-22 Osprey take-off and landing training for first time on new helipads in NTA

US marines carry out MV-22 Osprey take-off and landing training for first time on new helipads in NTA

An MV-22 Osprey aircraft repeating takeoff and landing from N1 and H helipads in the U.S. marines Northern Training Area at 2:40 p.m. on July 11, at Aha, Kunigami Village


July 11, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

At about 2:40 p.m. on July 11, a U.S. Marine MV-22 Osprey aircraft landed and took off from N1 and H helipads, recently built in the Northern Training Area in Higashi and Kunigami villages.

It is the first time the N1 and H helipads have been used for training. The Okinawa Defense Bureau confirmed that the aircraft had landed and taken off from the two helipads. However, the villages had no advanced notification about the training from the defense bureau.

Last year, the construction of the helipads was completed, and as part of a deal, the U.S. government then returned a land area of 4010 hectares, which accounts for about 53 percent of the NTA, to the Japanese side. The two governments agreed to return over half of the land used for the NTA to Japanese side after completing construction of the helipads.

However, the only new circular landing zone in the training area, was completed when the U.S. government returned the land. On July 1, the defense bureau restarted the work to build a link road to G helipad from H helipad.

The defense bureau explained to Higashi Village office that the operation of the new helipads would begin after completion of the entrance road and removal of materials for the construction.

(English translation by T&CT)

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