IWAKUNI, Japan - Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 aircrews conducted MV-22B Osprey functional check flights aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Sept. 21, 2012, marking the first time the Osprey has flown in Japan.
Once VMM-265, a part of Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, completes functional check flights and pilot proficiency flights at MCAS Iwakuni, its Ospreys will be based at and operate out of MCAS Futenma.
Basing the Osprey in Okinawa will significantly strengthen the United States’ ability to provide for the defense of Japan, perform humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, and fulfill other alliance roles.
The aircraft first arrived in Japan at the end of July to the port facility here via commercial ship from San Diego, Calif. After arriving, the Ospreys were off-loaded, inspected, and prepared for flight operations. In recognition of the Government of Japan’s concerns about the aircraft’s safety, the United States Government refrained from any MV-22B flight operations in Japan until the results of mishap investigations were presented to the Government of Japan and the safety of flight operations was confirmed.
This information was presented to the Government of Japan during September. The Marine Corps will modernize its fleet with MV-22B tiltrotor aircraft and remove CH-46E helicopters from service on a one-to-one basis.
The aircraft combines the vertical capability of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. With its proprotors in the vertical position, it can take off, land, and hover like a helicopter.
Once airborne, its proprotors can be rotated, transitioning the aircraft to a turboprop airplane capable of high speed, high-altitude flight.