Saturday, January 07, 2017

Osprey aerial refueling drills resume over Okinawa waters

PARIS--Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, on a working visit to the French capital, disclosed that the U.S. military informed Japan it had resumed aerial refueling drills for its Osprey aircraft in Okinawa Prefecture.
Inada told reporters Jan. 6 that U.S. forces had conducted a drill over waters off Okinawa Prefecture the same day, Japanese time.
"Normally, the U.S. military does not notify the Japanese side about training times when it is about to conduct a drill," Inada said.

She indicated the U.S. military made an exception in light of the crash-landing of an Osprey during an aerial refueling exercise off the coast of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, on Dec. 13. The Osprey was based at U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, also in Okinawa.
Inada added that Japan would not ask for information about future training drills concerning the Osprey.
According to Defense Ministry officials, U.S. military officials explained that the accident occurred when the propeller of the Osprey came into contact with the refueling hose.

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