Seen from the fifth aircraft, four of the five CV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft assigned to the 353rd Special Operations Group Detachment 1 fly above Tokyo, Japan, on April 5, 2018, when they arrived on deployment to Yokota Air Base to participate in regional exercises. Since then, the Ospreys have continued to operate from there and are now permanently resident and assigned to the 21st SOS, which officially stood-up at the base on July 1, 2019. USAF/ Senior Airman Joseph Pick
On July 1, US Air Force Special Operations Command’s 353rd Special Operations Group at Kadena Air Base in Japan stood up the 21st Special Operations Squadron (SOS) ‘Dust Devils’ and the 753rd Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Yokota. Five CV-22Bs assigned to the 353rd Special Operations Group, Detachment 1, have been based at Yokota since April 5, 2018. Henceforth, these will be operated by the 21st SOS, which will eventually have a strength of ten of these tiltrotor aircraft. The current aircraft with the unit are 13-0067, 13-0069, 14-0071, 14-0074 and 14-0075.
The CV-22Bs, designed to carry out infiltration, exfiltration and resupply missions for special operations forces, are stationed at Yokota to enhance security, disaster preparedness and emergency airlift capability in crisis situations. The 21st SOS last had an active assignment between 1988-2007, when it was based in the UK at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, operating MH-53M Pave Low helicopters. It was deactivated there on October 9, 2007.