FLEET ACTIVITIES YOKOSUKA, Japan –
Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 showcased the MV-22 Osprey’s capabilities on Oct. 25 – 26, 2014 at Fleet Activities Yokosuka and Hyakuri Air Base, Japan.
The Japan Self Defense Force invited VMM-265 to the Hyakuri Air Review’s 60th anniversary Oct. 26, so the Japanese could continue to familiarize themselves with the Osprey.
“There are a lot of questions still regarding the MV-22 in Japan,” said U.S. Marine Maj. Giuseppe Stavale, a foreign area officer with 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “We were able to explain to the prime minister and to those listening in about the capabilities of the aircraft and its safety. We’re very proud that we were invited and able to go to a national level air review and showcase what we have and how that contributes to the alliance.”
The Osprey is able to respond quickly and provide supplies and medical aid in case of crises or limited contingency operations.
“We are forward deployed in the Pacific Theater to better support the security alliance with Japan and other nations,” said U.S. Marine Maj. Benjamin J. DeBardeleben, executive officer for VMM-265, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st MAW, III MEF.
Before arriving at the air review, Marines gave Japanese officials a familiarization flight in the aircraft on Oct. 25 at Fleet Activities Yokosuka.
“I used to operate the (MH-60S Seahawk), but the Osprey was quieter and during the take-off I was able to feel the power and its ability right away,” said Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Rear Adm. Masato Nakanishi, Chief of Staff, Commandant Yokosuka District. “I liked the fact that you can rappel and do fast roping out of the aircraft.”
Throughout the visit, Marines answered questions about the Osprey’s specifications; such as its load capacity and how much faster, farther and higher it can fly than the CH-46E Sea Knight, the helicopter it replaced.
“The MV-22 Osprey provides increased capabilities and quicker response times during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions,” said DeBardeleben.
“These improvements translate to significant capabilities during operations,” said Stavale, from Cincinnati, Ohio. “Japan is made up of thousands of islands. They don’t have long runways. The Osprey can land just about anywhere because they can land like a helicopter, so that’s a big deal.”