Osprey Aircraft Training: Are Okinawans too soft-hearted? (Ryukyu Newspaper, Japan)

The Inescapable Increase of Noise Pollution and Danger

It has been revealed that Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) by the U.S. Marine Corp at the Ieshima support airbase for the MV22 Osprey Aircraft has begun. The MV22 Osprey Aircraft is scheduled to be deployed to the Futenma Airbase in the second half of 2012.

In addition to the deployment of this dangerous aircraft, which has had numerous crashes, it has been announced that there will be repeated takeoffs and landings on Ieshima island, which resembles an aircraft carrier.

We cannot allow the deployment of the Osprey to the already dangerous Futenma Airbase. Furthermore, there will be noise pollution and danger, resulting from constant training and maintenance. It is assumed that the plane will be used on aircraft carriers in battle situations. Inevitably, there will be an ever greater backlash from the citizens of Okinawa.

It has just been revealed that the U.S. Marine Corp on Okinawa has been executing FCLP maneuvers at both the base at Futenma and at Ieshima, with the helicopter unit stationed at Futenma Airbase. It has just been substantiated that FCLP maneuvers will be expected from the Osprey Aircraft, once they are deployed to Okinawa.

The FCLP maneuvers at Ieshima will include the Osprey flying all over the northern part of Okinawa, itself. The Osprey is the successor to the CH46 transport helicopter.

Based on the flying characteristics of the Osprey, the FCLP will include vertical landings and takeoffs, along with fixed-wing flying. Fears about safety are growing because of the addition of helicopter-like vertical takeoffs and landings from a level flying position.

Before the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee on June 21, it was revealed that the U.S. has been preparing military bases for Osprey use, in rapid succession.

They may be planning a strategic move for a breakthrough, because they face strong opposition from Okinawans, including 38 out of 41 mayors in opposition.

Once again, for emphasis: Okinawa isn’t a U.S. military colony. We will absolutely reject an increase in military responsibility. FCLP, in its original form, consisted of an aircraft from an aircraft carrier docked at its home port of Yokosuka base, repeatedly practicing takeoffs and landings in the night from Atsugi base in Kanegawa prefecture. Fighter jets like the F/A-18 continually practice touch-and-go maneuvers that make tremendous explosive sounds. There has been fierce local opposition, especially because of the night-landing practice (NLP). On the island of Iwo Jima, the U.S. and Japan agreed to the transfer of FCLP activities to the Iwakuni base, with the U.S. Armed Forces reorganization of 2006. However, opposition in Iwakuni has not gone away.

The U.S. Marine Corp has hinted that night FCLP maneuvers will be executed on Ieshima. Training, which has continued to create discord with citizens, even on the mainland, will be expanded to include helicopters on Futenma. With the expectation that the Japanese government will approve of the expansion, the U.S. military immediately began training, after the deployment of the Osprey. Are Okinawans too soft-hearted?


Translated By Ryan Whiting

21 June 2011

Edited by Patri­cia Simoni
Japan – Ryukyu Newspaper – Original Article (Japanese)

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