YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan --- The Air Force added a pair of special operations squadrons charged with flying and maintaining CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft to its line-up at the home of U.S. Forces Japan in western Tokyo.
The newly established 21st Special Operations Squadron — the Dust Devils — and the 753rd Special Operations Maintenance Squadron — whose emblem is the Heikegani samurai crab — will fly and maintain five CV-22 Ospreys.
The helicopter-airplane hybrids have been operating at Yokota as a detachment of the Okinawa-based 353rd Special Operations Group since October 2018. A series of protests by locals concerned about the safety of the aircraft were held outside the base that year after the detachment’s surprise arrival in April, two years ahead of schedule.
During an activation ceremony Monday, 353rd SOG commander Col. Jason Kirby, whose unit oversees a dozen special operations squadrons, flanked by a pair of CV-22s, told airmen that they represent a commitment to the U.S.-Japan alliance. (end of excerpt)
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