News: Japan officials visit Futenma
Story by Lance Cpl. Donald Peterson
FUTEMA, Okinawa - Distinguished representatives of the government of Japan visited Marine Corps Air Station Futenma June 5 for a luncheon, tour and viewing of a static display of an MV-22B Osprey aircraft.
The representatives came to deepen their understanding of the mission and purpose of MCAS Futenma and the Osprey. The members consisted of Ryota Takeda, the chairperson of the Standing Committee on Security; Akira Sato, the parliamentary vice minister of the Ministry of Defense; 13 members from the House of Representatives of Japan and 13 other government of Japan officials.
“Thanks to what I learned today, I have a better understanding of why MCAS Futenma is important,” said Hirofumi Takeda, director general of the Okinawa Defense Bureau, Ministry of Defense. “I understand now that MCAS Futenma plays a big role in providing support not only for Japan, but for countries all over the Pacific.”
Following the luncheon, the representatives were given a tour of MCAS Futenma followed by an opportunity to view a static display of an Osprey assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
The display consisted of a demonstration of the Osprey rotating its rotors into position for take off, as well as an opportunity for everyone to go inside the Osprey to examine the cockpit.
During the static display, the representatives were briefed on the capabilities of the Osprey across a wide range of mission sets.
“I learned a lot about the Osprey,” said Takeda. “I now have a better understanding of the role that it plays, as well as its capabilities.”
It was a positive experience overall for the representatives that attended, according to Lt. Col. Sean P. Patak, the executive officer of MCAS Futenma, Marine Corps Installations Pacific. As the day ended, both parties felt that the event was successful and a common understanding about the role of the air station and its aircraft was achieved.
“Opportunities like these provide the public and government officials a better understanding of MCAS Futenma’s mission along with the importance of the Osprey in the region,” said Patak.