News: Osprey lands on JMSDF ship for first time in Asia-Pacific
Story by Lance Cpl. Matt Myers
AT SEA - An MV-22B Osprey landed on a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ship Nov. 12 for the first time in the Asia-Pacific region.
Marines with III Marine Expeditionary Force conducted the MV-22 Osprey landing with the Japan Self-Defense Force aboard the Ise, a JMSDF ship, to improve interoperability, enhance bilateral training and illustrate the capability of the Osprey to speedily transport cargo and passengers to and from ships from both nations.
The Commanding General of III MEF, Lt. Gen. John Wissler, the Chief of Joint Staff of the JSDF, Gen. Shigeru Iwasaki, and the Commanding General of Western Army, JGSDF, Lt. Gen. Koichiro Bansho, were among those who visited the Ise.
“This is the first time for an Osprey to land on a JMSDF ship in this region,” said Robert D. Eldridge, the deputy assistant chief of staff, G-7, government and external affairs for Marine Corps Installations Pacific. “The fact that the joint chief of staff and commanding generals personally came down here to see this, that they visited Futenma and that they flew in an Osprey are significant for our Japan-U.S. relationship and for security in this region.”
The group toured the planning area where the JMSDF is capable of handling humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations and coordinating with civil defense first responders and nongovernmental organizations.
“This is another opportunity for us to reinforce the Japan-U.S. relationship,” said Wissler. “With the development of capabilities by the JMSDF we have another amphibious partner in the Western Pacific who can help us … and better assist in any humanitarian aid and relief operations.”
This is the second time an Osprey has landed on a JMSDF ship, with the first being at Exercise Dawn Blitz on the west coast in the U.S. earlier this year. This landing is a continuation of the Japan-U.S. military cooperation.
“This landing expands the breadth of capability that exists between the JSDF and the United States military,” said Wissler. “This strengthens the alliance and adds strength and interoperability to the Japan-U.S. alliance.”
The aircraft involved in the landing are with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced) currently assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, III MEF.