US Secures OK for Osprey Operations in Japan

US Secures OK for Osprey Operations in Japan: The Defense Department has announced that the US has reached an agreement with Japan that will allow operation of the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in Japan, the result of months of negotiations centered over safety of flight issues, according to a Sept. 19 DOD release. The US sent MV-22 Ospreys to Okinawa in July to replace CH-46 helicopters used by the USMC’s 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force. According to a senior US defense official, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto gave “deep personal attention” to the issue to ensure a positive resolution. Pentagon spokesman George Little said the process “allowed both sides to reconfirm the safety of the aircraft.” USAF also plans to station some of its CV-22 Ospreys in the Pacific region, according to Air Force Special Operations Command boss Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel, but he did not name a specific location during remarks at AFA’s Air & Space Conference Sept. 18. (Includes AFPS report by Karen Parrish)