US Marine Corps, January 13, 2017 - KISARAZU, Japan by MC2 Richard LJ Gourley – Members of Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific (FRCWP) joined Japanese city officials, industry executives, and self-defense force leaders in a ribbon cutting ceremony to open the first, Japan-based, depot-level MV-22 Osprey repair facility at the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) Kisarazu air field on 12 January.
The hangar bay facility, under contract with Fuji Heavy Industries, is critical to maintaining the entire forward deployed Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey fleet.
“The (M)V-22 is a strategic asset for us here in Japan,” said Capt. Matthew Edwards, commanding officer of FRCWP. “Opening this facility is a win-win situation for the Japan-U.S. alliance; it will allow us to continue to sustain Marine Corps aircraft, and the Japanese will gain important experience on working with the aircraft.”
FRCWP worked hard with the JGSDF and Fuji Heavy Industries to make this event happen on time.
“We had to coordinate the development of the facility and ensured that it fell within specifications. We provided aircraft support equipment and also had to train the Fuji Heavy Industries technicians to use the Department of Defense supply system,” said Scott DeLorenzi, MV-22 Logistics Management Specialist. “Despite these types of challenges, we are still on schedule.”
Once depot-level maintenance begins at the facility, FRCWP which is based at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, will provide engineering support, material, and technical data for the life of the contract.
Training for the Japanese aircraft maintainers has been provided by the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) and is expected to continue mid-January, with the first Osprey to undergo depot-level maintenance shortly thereafter.