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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 July 24 - 30  > Osprey flights with guns pointing downward toward residential areas increase
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2019 July 24 - 30 TOP3 [US FORCES]

Osprey flights with guns pointing downward toward residential areas increase

July 28, 2019

The number of flights of CV-22 Ospreys stationed at the U.S. Yokota Air Base with guns pointing downward toward residential areas increased in July. This was shown in a survey conducted by a local organization of the Japan Peace Committee in Hamura City which hosts the Yokota base.

Akahata dated July 28 reported on the peace group’s survey findings and pointed out that the U.S. military may have used the residential areas as a simulated battle zone for flight training exercises of CV-22 Osprey aircraft. Noting that in the same areas there are many public facilities, such as schools, childcare centers, and hospitals, Akahata stated that the Osprey flight drills may be designating these facilities as targets.

According to the Hamura Peace Committee, the first report of such a flight was confirmed on June 29, 2018. As of the end of June this year, Osprey aircraft flying with guns in the same downward-pointed position were spotted 29 times. In comparison, between July 3 and July 11 of this year, the number of times CV-22 flew with guns pointing downward toward residential areas numbered five.

A 70-year-old woman, who lives in Hinode Town, a neighboring town of Hamura City, said, “I’m scared when observing U.S. military aircraft flying with guns aiming toward us. I really want the U.S. military to stop flying Ospreys overhead in that manner.”

Takahashi Mieko, who heads a civil group working to achieve the removal of the Yokota base, said, “Flights over residential areas by U.S. military aviation itself should be prohibited, let alone the flights of CV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft whose rear-shooting guns are pointed toward residential areas.”

Takahashi pointed out that when the group urged the U.S. military to suspend the flight training drills in which CV-22s aimed guns at targets in residential areas, a military officer in reply said it is normal for Ospreys to fly in this way. “This is a scary candid remark. The Yokota base should be shut down,” Takahashi added.

Past related articles:
> CV-22 Osprey flies over Tokyo with gun pointing toward residential areas [March 15 & 18, 2019]
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