WASHINGTON, (USASOC News Service, May 12, 2015) -- The Department of Defense announced plans to station a special operations squadron of CV-22 Osprey aircraft at Yokota Air Base, Japan, according to a DoD news release issued May 11.

The first three aircraft will arrive in the second half of 2017 with an additional seven aircraft scheduled to arrive by 2021, the release said.

The deployment of tilt-rotor aircraft will provide increased capability for U.S. Special Operations forces to respond quickly to crises and contingencies in Japan and across the Asia-Pacific region, including humanitarian crises and natural disasters, according to the release.

The deployment will also increase interoperability, enhance operational cooperation, and promote stronger defense relations with the Japan Self-Defense Forces, according to the release.

The CV-22 Osprey is a highly advanced aircraft with unique capabilities and an excellent operational safety record, the release said.

The deployment reflects the United States' steadfast commitment to defend Japan and to station its most advanced capabilities forward as part of the Asia-Pacific Rebalance, according to the release.