Two Marine Corps helicopters were forced to conduct emergency landings in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture since Saturday, further inflaming tense relations between the people of the island and the American military presence operating nearby.
On Monday, a U.S. Marine Corps AH-1 attack helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing at a waste disposal site near a hotel in Yomitan, Japan. No injuries were reported, and the two man-crew were able to evacuate the aircraft safely. According to reports, the crew were forced to bring the helicopter down for an emergency landing after a “warning light came on.”
Only two days prior, a Marine Corps UH-1 helicopter from the same installation, the Futenma air station in Ginowan, was also forced to conduct an emergency landing on a beach on Ikei Island, a small islet in Okinawa. That emergency landing was reportedly due to a rotor issue.
These emergency landings are the latest in a rash of high-profile failures of Marine Corps aircraft in the region, including one incident in which a window fell out of a CH-53 helicopter and into a school yard, injuring one child.