Marines Land Osprey Aircraft on Japanese Ship

A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft made an unprecedented landing Friday on a Japanese naval vessel off the California coast.

The tilt-rotor aircraft flew from San Diego’s Marine Corps Miramar Air Station to the Japanese ship Hyuga as part of an 18-day drill aimed at improving Japan’s amphibious capabilities.

The Osprey has sparked protests in Japan over concerns about its safety record, which includes two crashes last year in Florida and Morocco.

The Japanese government approved the deployment of 12 Ospreys in 2012 to Okinawa after receiving additional assurances from the Pentagon.

Military officials say the Osprey is critical for regional security efforts. The hybrid aircraft can take off and land like a helicopter. Marines demonstrated its versatility and speed Friday in an exercise that required coordination between the Navy, Marine Corps and Japan’s military members.

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Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force Board MV-22 Osprey for 1st Time

Members of the Ground Self-Defense Force boarded the U.S. militarys MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft for the first time Wednesday during a joint exercise with the U.S. Marine Corps, it has been learned.The exercise, simulating the recapture of an isolated island, was held at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California and was open to the media.Early in the morning, four Ospreys arrived at an exercise area in Camp Pendleton after taking off from an amphibious assault ship at sea. About 50 GSDF personnel aboard the aircraft joined a GSDF unit that had secured a stronghold the previous day.