The U.S. Marine Corps completed the deployment of the first squadron of 12 MV-22 Osprey aircraft at its Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture on Saturday, Japan’s Jiji press reported.
All 12 were delivered to the Iwakuni base in July, and nine were moved to the Futenma base Monday and Tuesday.
The deployment will further heighten safety concerns among local residents, as operations of the controversial tilt-rotor transport aircraft will now begin on a full scale.
Anger is mounting among local residents who claim Osprey flight rules agreed on by the Japanese and U.S. governments have already been breached in test flights within the prefecture.
Okinawa residents said one of the MV-22s deployed at U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma was spotted in vertical mode over a heavily populated area of Ginowan, which hosts the base.