CV-22s for Yokota
A CV-22 Osprey approaches the air-refueling receptacle of an MC-130H Combat Talon II during training off of the Florida coast, April 24, 2015. Air Force photo by SrA. Christopher Callaway
Air Force Special Operations Command will station a squadron of 10 CV-22 tiltrotor aircraft at Yokota AB, Japan, announced the Defense Department on Monday. Yokota’s first three CV-22s will arrive in the second half of 2017; the remaining seven are scheduled to touch down by 2021, states DOD’s release. This beddown “will provide increased capability for US Special Operations forces to respond quickly to crises and contingencies in Japan and across the Asia-Pacific region, including humanitarian crises and natural disasters,” states the release. It will also “increase interoperability, enhance operational cooperation, and promote stronger defense relations with the Japan Self-Defense Forces.” AFSOC leadership had previously spoken of the Air Force’s intent to bring CV-22s to the Asia-Pacific region. CV-22s operate today at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Kirtland AFB, N.M., and RAF Mildenhall, Britain. Mildenhall’s Osprey’s are expected to relocate to Germany upon Mildenhall’s planned closure. The CV-22 has “an excellent operational safety record,” notes the release, which came one week after the Pentagon notified Congress of a proposed foreign military sale of 17 V-22Bs to Japan.