An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Dec. 23, 2014

Experiencing a Ride on the Marine Corps Osprey Firsthand

By Shimabukuro Yoshikazu III Marine Expeditionary Force / Marine Corps Installations Pacific

"I would like to describe the experience we had recently with flying in the MV-22B Osprey from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to northern Okinawa over water and around Ie Shima island before returning to the MCAS Futenma.

The first thing I realized was how wrong the media and others were wrong about the Osprey being dangerous.

All of those riding on the aircraft felt it was not only quiet but safe as well. We were all of the same opinion. Indeed, it was such a comfortable ride that one or two members of the group actually fell asleep. If it was dangerous and noisy, it would be difficult to imagine someone falling asleep.

It is very important that as many people as possible within Okinawa Prefecture know the Osprey represents state of the art technology and is a safe aircraft.

The security environment facing Japan is worsening. The Marine Corps, which is the main strength of U.S. deterrence in the region, has historically had to rely on its movement, in part, through the use of the medium-lift CH-46 helicopter. Since 2012, however, the Marine Corps has gradually introduced the vertical lift tiltrotor MV-22B Osprey into its forward-deployed forces to replace the outmoded CH-46s.

The MV-22B not only takes off and lands like a helicopter but can fly at least twice the speed of the CH-46 and four times the distance. It can go 650 km on one tank of gas, and 1100 km or more when refueled aerially. The range of the MV-22s allows for the Marine Corps to operate in a much wider area in Northeast Asia, thus increasing the level of deterrence provided by U.S. forward-deployed forces.

It is necessary to reaffirm the importance of the U.S. Marine Corps presence, and for the Okinawan public to truly understand it.

Our country is a country made up of many islands. Okinawa is a prefecture also made up of many islands. What’s more, the Okinawa is in a critically important location geostrategically.

Japan is also a country with many natural disasters, as is the prefecture. In light of these factors, I believe the Osprey will become increasingly important in the months and years to come. To increase the people’s understanding of this aircraft, it will be invaluable to give them the opportunity to ride on it.

Through this experience, I have become a fan of the Osprey, and look forward to supporting its usage in [Japan-U.S. alliance operations].

On behalf of all of us local leaders and citizens who flew on the Osprey, I would like to thank the Marine Corps for this unique and meaningful opportunity, especially Dr. Robert D. Eldridge, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, G-7, Marine Corps Installations Pacific."

Mr. Shimabukuro served as Mayor of Nago City from 2006-2010, and now is the special advisor to the Northern Region Development Council, headquartered in Nago.




US and Philippine Army Soldiers Establish a Joint Operations Center for the First Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center-Exportable in the Philippines
U.S. and Philippines Army soldiers monitor personnel actions in the Joint Operations Center during the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center-Exportable (JPMRC-X) exercise on Fort Magsaysay, Philippines, 31 May 2024. This iteration of JPMRC-X marks the first deployment to the Philippines, which will enable and assist the Philippines Army and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in building combat training center locations within the Philippines.
The JPMRC-X is a Department of the Army initiative consisting of a deployable package of personnel and equipment designed to support training exercises across the Pacific. 
(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Tommie Berry)
June 7, 2024 - U.S. and Philippine Army Soldiers establish a Joint Operations Center (JOC) as part of Exercise Salaknib 2024. The establishment of a JOC marks a pivotal moment in fostering collaboration among multinationals during the Joint...

317 AW 'Explodes into Theater' with maximum endurance operation for Valiant Shield 24
A C-130J Super Hercules assigned to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, gets refueled at Travis Air Force Base, California, during an extended Maximum Endurance Operation, June 4, 2024. Two aircraft equipped with external fuel tanks completed the MEO to Guam in support of Valiant Shield 2024. Exercises such as Valiant Shield allow the Indo-Pacific Command Joint Forces the opportunity to integrate forces from all branches of service and with our allies to conduct precise, lethal, and overwhelming multi-axis, multi-domain effects that demonstrate the strength and versatility of the Joint Force and our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Emma Anderson)
June 7, 2024 - The 317th Airlift Wing successfully completed an expanded Maximum Endurance Operation to Guam with two C-130J Super Hercules aircraft equipped with external fuel tanks, June 4, 2024...

Allies Come Together in the Indo-Pacific: Valiant Shield 24
June 5, 2024 - U.S. Indo-Pacific Command joint forces, along with allied and partner forces, are scheduled to participate in exercise Valiant Shield (VS) 2024, June 7-18, on Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau,...

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III Concludes Tenth Visit to the Indo-Pacific
June 5, 2024 - Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III concluded his tenth official visit to the Indo-Pacific region today...

Malaysia, U.S. Continue to Strengthen Ties at Bersama Warrior 2024 Exercise
Washington National Guard and Malaysian Armed Forces members participate in the Bersama Warrior 2024 opening ceremonies June 1, 2024, at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Washington Guard and Malaysia have been partners under the State Partnership Program since 2017.
June 5, 2024 - The 10th annual Bersama Warrior exercise began June 1 with an opening ceremony led by Malaysian Armed Forces leaders and U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Kenneth Borchers, director of the Joint Staff for the Washington National...