Osprey crashes, Japanese city rejects Osprey, and Marines want to bring Osprey to Hawai’i?

The Honolulu Star Advertiser reported that”Marines’ copter plan raises fear of noise” (June 12, 2012):

The public has nearly a month to weigh in on Marine Corps plans to station MV-22 tiltrotor Osprey and H-1 Cobra and Huey attack-utility helicopter squadrons at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, but any community opposition likely will boil down to a single topic, according to the secretary of the Kaneohe Neighborhood Board.

“In one word,” said Bill Sager, “it’s the noise.”

[. . .]

“Several people have expressed concerns to me,” he said.

While the Marines opened a 30-day comment period on their proposals last week, “People will have no way of evaluating the noise impact of an Osprey until they actually hear it,” Sager said.

It seems a  major concern for us in Hawai’i ought to be safety.   Today, an CV-22 Osprey crashed in Florida, injuring five: 

An Air Force CV-22 Osprey crashed Wednesday during a routine training mission north of Navarre, Florida, injuring five crew members aboard, a military official said.

In April two U.S. troops died in an Osprey crash in Morocco.   Last March, a Marine pilot died and radioactive strontium 90 was released into Kane’ohe Bay when helicopter crashed on Ahu o Laka sandbar in the bay.

Okinawans have been strongly opposing the stationing of Osprey aircraft.  The city of Iwakuni on the main island of Honshu was proposed as a temporary base for the Osprey until facilities were available in Okinawa.  However, Japan Today reports that “Iwakuni balks at U.S. deployment of Osprey aircraft” (June 13, 2012):

Safety concerns after a recent crash have put plans to briefly deploy the U.S. Osprey aircraft to a city in Yamaguchi Prefecture on hold, officials said Tuesday.

Opposition to the plan to temporarily base the helicopter-like planes in the city of Iwakuni has been rising since the fatal crash in April left two Marines dead in Morocco.

Japan’s defense minister said Tuesday he may go to the city of Iwakuni to persuade local officials to accept the temporary deployment. But after meeting with ministry officials on Monday Iwakuni’s mayor said he needs more assurances that the aircraft is safe.

The Marine Corps released a Final Environmental Impact Statement on its proposals on the basing and statewide training of Osprey tiltrotor and Cobra and Huey attack-utility helicopter squadrons.   The 30-day comment period began Friday June 8.  The proposal is to expand the Marine Corps in Hawai’i :

  • 24 MV-22 Osprey aircraft
  • 18 AH-1Z Viper Super Cobra helicopters
  • 9 UH-1Y Huey helicopters
  • 1,000 Military personnel
  • 1,106 Family members

The Marine Corps helicopter Environmental Impact Statement can be viewed at:

  • Written comments on the EIS must be postmarked or received online by July 11 to become part of the official rec ord.
  • Comments can be made online by selecting the “contact” tab at www.mcbh.usmc.mil/mv22h1eis/ index.html or by mail to: Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific 258 Makalapa Drive, Suite 100 Pearl Harbor, HI 96860-3134 Attn: EV21, MV-22/H-1 EIS Project Manager

 

One Comment

Steven Tayama

The town of Waimanalo is far too close to the base to be safe. Any kind of crash is sure to impact the town. One more thing. Can the People of the USA really afford the continuing growth of its military and military adventures? Myself and many others think not. Stop military expansion and increase education, affordable housing, national healthcare, maitain and refit schools. That must afford!

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