U.S. Air Force considering deployment of its Osprey in Okinawa

January 12, 2013

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

WASHINGTON--The U.S. military is considering deployment of another version of the Osprey transport aircraft to Okinawa Prefecture, Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley said on Jan. 11.

The U.S. Marines already deployed 12 of their MV-22 Osprey to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma last autumn, sparking an uproar among residents in Okinawa Prefecture over safety. Another 12 MV-22s are planned for deployment this summer.

The U.S. Air Force has its own Osprey--the CV-22--used to transport special forces. A CV-22 Osprey crashed in Florida last June during a training exercise.

At a Jan. 11 news conference at the Pentagon, Donley was asked if there were plans to deploy the CV-22 to Okinawa or elsewhere in Japan.

While Donley acknowledged there was such a plan, he declined to provide details.

George Little, the Pentagon press secretary, later released a statement that said any deployment of the CV-22 to the Asia-Pacific region would be a number of years in the future and that construction has not started on the bases needed for the deployment.

The statement said the Japanese government had not been informed because no decision had been reached on where the Osprey would be deployed.

Susumu Matayoshi, head of the Okinawa governor's office, met with Chris Johnstone, the Northeast Asia director at the Pentagon, at the U.S. State Department in Washington.

According to Matayoshi, Johnstone said there were plans to deploy the CV-22 somewhere in Asia, including Japan, but a specific deployment location had not been decided upon.

(This article was written by Hirotsugu Mochizuki and Hiroshi Ito. Jon Harper contributed to the article.)

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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A CV-22 Osprey sits at U.S. Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis, N.M. in July 2006. (AP file photo)

A CV-22 Osprey sits at U.S. Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis, N.M. in July 2006. (AP file photo)

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  • A CV-22 Osprey sits at U.S. Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis, N.M. in July 2006. (AP file photo)

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