• Kyodo

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The U.S. Marine Corps confirmed Wednesday that 12 Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft have left San Diego for deployment in Japan.

A commercial ship carrying the 12 MV-22s departed San Diego on Tuesday and will arrive at U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture in late July, a USMC representative said.

The 12 aircraft are expected to join the other 12 MV-22s already deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa as soon as next month, replacing all of the base’s aging CH-46 helicopters.

The arrival of the second Osprey squadron will help the U.S. military heighten capability “in terms of security and humanitarian assistance for the entire Asia-Pacific region,” the representative said.