US Ospreys in Japan to Resume Aerial Refueling Exercises

By S.L. Fuller | January 5, 2017
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28823An MV-22B Osprey takes flight to transport Marines to conduct a tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel training mission during the Amphibious Squadron 5 and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration exercise aboard amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset (LPD 25) July 16, 2016. PMINT is a 2-week training evolution between the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and 11th MEU, allowing Marines and sailors to combine and employ their forces together for their first at-sea period in preparation for their Western Pacific 16-2 deployment. The Marines are with Alpha Co., Battalion Landing Team 1st Bn., 4th Marines; the Osprey and its crew are with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163; both are currently assigned to the 11th MEU. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Zachery C. Laning/Released)003801_3f59e3086e_o

An MV-22B Osprey takes flight to transport U.S. Marines to conduct a tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel training mission. Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps

Despite local pushback, Japanese news outlets report that the U.S. Marine Corps plans to resume Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey refueling training in Okinawa this week. This comes about three weeks after the Dec. 13 nonfatal crash off the coast of Okinawa involving an Osprey during an aerial refueling training exercise.

Reports said the Japanese Defense Ministry has confirmed that the U.S. has taken all measures to prevent another accident from happening. However, this is reportedly not appeasing the local Okinawan government, which was not in favor of resuming Bell Boeing MV-22 flights the week after the incident. The U.S. government is still conducting its investigation, but news reports said some of the most likely causes of the crash could involve human error, turbulence and the complexity of the nighttime refueling exercise in general.


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