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Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey at Futenma Flightline Festival

V-22 Osprey at Futenma Flightline

V-22 Osprey at Futenma Flightline Festival

Military bases cover approximately one fifth of the main island of Okinawa. The most unpopular of the bases is Futenma, and the V-22 Osprey is its most controversial aircraft. Once a year, however, the base opens its gates to all for the Futenma Flightline Festival.

V-22 Osprey at Futenma Flightline

V-22 Osprey at Futenma Flightline Festival

There were plenty of Americans and local nationals checking out all the different planes and helicopters on display. There was a lot of interest in the Ospreys, which most people had never seen up close. Posters on the sides of the aircraft showed images from humanitarian missions.

V-22 Osprey at Futenma Flightline

V-22 Osprey at Futenma Flightline Festival

Of course, the relocation of Futenma, and the military burden placed on Okinawa is a complex and contentious issue.  I’ve photographed several anti-base protests, so it was interesting to see another viewpoint, or at least the other side of the barbed wire fence.

V-22 Osprey at Futenma Flightline

V-22 Osprey at Futenma Flightline Festival

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