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Japan Ground Self-Defense Force V-22 Ospreys arrive at MCAS Iwakuni

V-22 Ospreys destined for Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) units arrived at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS), Iwakuni, Japan, Feb. 14, 2021.

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Japan Ground Self Defense Force V 22 Ospreys arrive at MCAS Iwakuni V-22 Ospreys destined for Japan Ground Self-Defense Force units arrive at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS), Iwakuni, Japan, Feb. 14 (Picture source: U.S. Marine Corps)


This was the second offload of future JGSDF Ospreys at MCAS Iwakuni. The air station’s advanced capabilities and deep water port allow for aircraft to arrive via ship before receiving functional checks and flying to their final destination. 

Japan accepted delivery of its first Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey on July 10 2020, making it the first nation outside the U.S. to own and operate the tiltrotor aircraft.

The Japanese V-22 variant has a unique configuration with a Japanese-specific communication system. Despite the different communication system, JGSDF personnel has been working with U.S. Marines since May 2020 to learn how to operate the aircraft ahead of accepting delivery of their own Osprey.

The start of Japan’s V-22 fleet comes shortly after the U.S. Navy also accepted its first V-22 – called the CMV-22 – to carry out the carrier onboard delivery (COD) mission once the aging C-2A Greyhound propeller planes retire. Bell Boeing delivered the first aircraft to the “Black Jacks” of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21 in February, and the first operational aircraft arrived at Naval Air Station North Island in California last month to begin building up the inventory of the “Titans” of Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) 30.

Unlike the C-2, which could only fly from shore to the aircraft carrier, the V-22 will be able to reach the surface combatants in the CSG directly, thanks to its ability to land and take off vertically like a helicopter.