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Top Marine in Okinawa comments on SDF deployment, Osprey flights

Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times took up a press conference by Okinawa Area Coordinator Nicholson held at Camp Courtney on Thursday, during which he disclosed that a Japanese version of a USMC unit will probably be deployed at a U.S. military facility in the island prefecture in the future, possibly at Camp Schwab or Camp Hansen. He expressed hope for the joint use of U.S. installations in Okinawa by the SDF.

 

The Marine general commented on the impact on local communities of intensive training by saying that he is sorry for the loud noise and other inconveniences caused by military aircraft while also justifying the need for continued training. “It is important to maintain readiness by conducting rigorous training day and night in order to ensure regional peace and stability,” he said. Lt. Gen. Nicholson also stressed that the U.S. military is careful to minimize the impact, explaining that when operating the MV-22 Ospreys in Okinawa, it tries to fly them over the ocean as much as possible. “They try to avoid flying over residential areas in accordance with the flight routes agreed upon between the U.S. and Japan,” he said. Regarding the sharp increase in the Osprey’s accident rate, the general simply stated that it is hard to tell whether it can be attributed to human error or mechanical failure.  

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