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Japan, US practice Osprey landings on ships

Japan

Members of Japan's Self-Defense Forces and the US military have practiced landing US Osprey transport aircraft on a destroyer off California.

Thursday's offshore maneuvers were part of a joint drill that began on Monday. About 1,100 SDF personnel and 3,000 US troops are taking part in the 10-day exercise.

Media crews were allowed to visit the US amphibious assault ship Boxer, where Mexican and Australian troops were on hand along with US Marines and SDF members.

Reporters then boarded a US Osprey that took off from the Boxer and landed on the Maritime Self-Defense Force's 197-meter-long helicopter destroyer Hyuga.

SDF members were on the Hyuga's flat-deck to guide Ospreys and Japanese helicopters making alternate landings and takeoffs.

SDF personnel have been training to guide Ospreys to land on destroyers for two years. The aim is to strengthen coordination with US forces.

The tilt-rotor aircraft can take off and land like a helicopter.

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