U.S.military completes deployment of more Osprey to Okinawa

U.S.military completes deployment of more Osprey to Okinawa

The last Osprey arrived at Futenma Air Station from Iwakuni Air Station at around 5:20 p.m. on September 25. Kakazu Takadai Park can be seen on left at the back in this photograph.

September 26, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

The U.S. Marine Corps has completed moving 12 another MV-22 Osprey aircraft from Iwakuni Air Station to Okinawa. The last aircraft arrived at U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in the evening of September 25. The U.S. military has now stationed 24 Osprey there, following on from the deployment of the first squadron of 12 aircraft last October. Training will proceed in Okinawa involving all 24 Osprey, further heightening fears of the local people about the aircraft. This will also lead to further opposition to the military’s move.

According to the Ginowan City Government, the last aircraft took off from Iwakuni Air Station around 3:00 p.m. on September 25. It had arrived at Futenma Air Station by 5:20 p.m. after having been seen flying over Naha City.

The military brought another 12 Osprey to Iwakuni in July, before moving 11 of them to Futenma on August 3 and 12. The departure of the last aircraft from Iwakuni was delayed because of a technical issue.

Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima once again opposed the deployment of another Osprey squadron to Okinawa, saying, “The military has not dispelled the concerns of the people about the safety of this aircraft.” He continued, “I want the military to adhere to what the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee decided.” Nakaima suggested that the military should deploy the Osprey in various parts of the main islands of Japan.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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