Photo/IllutrationA CV-22 Osprey transport aircraft that made an emergency landing at Amami Airport in Kagoshima Prefecture in June (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

U.S. Forces Japan will officially deploy five CV-22 Osprey transport aircraft at Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo from Oct. 1, the Japanese government announced Aug. 22.

It is the first time for the CV-22 model, which is specially fitted for U.S. Air Force operations, mainly for its special forces, to be officially deployed in Japan, although the aircraft first arrived at the base here in April.

At its Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, the U.S. Marines keep 24 MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft with Marines specifications.

The deployment of the CV-22 Ospreys was initially scheduled for October 2019 or later, however, the U.S. military announced in April that it decided to move it forward and has been considering the new schedule.

More Ospreys are scheduled to be deployed, up to a total of 10, at Yokota Air Base in the future. That means about 450 extra personnel will be eventually required to man the 10 aircraft.

The CV-22 is designed to carry special force troops who would be in charge of infiltrating enemy territory to rescue hostages, for example. To carry out such missions, it has enhanced ability for flying at night and at low altitudes.

Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft has been plagued by a series of accidents and engine troubles.

In June, one of the five CV-22s coming to Yokota Air Base also experienced engine trouble on its way from Yokota Air Base to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa Prefecture, and made an emergency landing at Amami Airport in Kagoshima Prefecture. It had to remain at the airport for a month to wait for new parts.