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.
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.
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.