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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 August 9 - 15  > US military refuses flat out to ground Ospreys
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2017 August 9 - 15 [US FORCES]

US military refuses flat out to ground Ospreys

August 9, 2017
It has come to light that the crash of a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey into the sea off Australia was classified by the U.S. Navy Naval Safety Center as “Class A”, the highest category in terms of severity.

Furthermore, Akahata learned on August 8 that the USMC in Okinawa confirmed the deaths of three marines who went missing after the crash three days ago. This is the first fatal accident caused by Ospreys stationed at the USMC Futenma base in Okinawa’s Ginowan City. Meanwhile, the number of U.S. military personnel killed in accidents of the same type aircraft has reached 44, according to U.S. military data.

Under these circumstances, the public call for a halt to Osprey flights has spread across Japan.

The Kanagawa Prefectural government after the accident decided to reject a proposal made by the U.S. forces for Osprey participation in a disaster evacuation drill which the prefecture will hold on September 1. Local governments near the U.S. Misawa base in Aomori on August 7 submitted to the Defense Ministry their written requests demanding measures to prevent the recurrence and impose a suspension of Osprey flights. On the same day, municipal governments in Tokyo surrounding the U.S. Yokota Air Base to which CV-22 Ospreys will be deployed also submitted similar petitions to the ministry.

However, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis showed no intent to consider local opposition to further flights. He said that Ospreys are necessary “for the defense of Japan and for furthering our shared security.”

Commander of U.S. forces in Okinawa Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson also refused flat out Okinawa’s request that the defective tilt-rotor aircraft be grounded until the cause of the crash is determined. Nicholson said that Ospreys are in operation throughout the world and that it is the military's decision.

Past related articles:
> Okinawa presses state gov’t to halt Osprey flights [ August 8, 2017]
> Latest crash verifies there is no place for defective US Osprey in Japan [ August 7, 2017]
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