MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, Japan - Two MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, part of the second MV-22 squadron to Okinawa and Japan, landed at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Japan, Aug. 3.
The aircraft, part of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262, flew from MCAS Iwakuni following their transportation by a commercial cargo ship from San Diego. The other Osprey aircraft are scheduled to arrive on Okinawa in the near future; their arrival will complete the one-for-one replacement of CH-46E helicopters on Okinawa.
Brig. Gen. Steven R. Rudder, commanding general of 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, observed the arrival of the first two aircraft and spoke about the capabilities the new squadron brings.
“This aircraft flies twice as fast, carries three times as much, and goes four times as far,” said Rudder. “We are going to be able to strengthen our U.S.-Japan alliance, which is the strongest it has been in 50 years, in my estimation; and we are going to be able to enhance our defense of Japan and enhance our humanitarian and disaster relief operations.
As the newest commanding general of 1st MAW, I would like to say thank you to those Okinawa neighbors that have supported us throughout the many years of Marines being here,” he added.
The MV-22 is a highly-capable aircraft with an excellent operational safety record. The aircraft combines the vertical capability of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. The MV-22 can fly twice as fast, carry three times as much, and fly four times the distance of the older CH-46E. Its capabilities will significantly benefit the U.S.-Japan alliance, and strengthen our ability to provide for the defense of Japan and to perform humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions.