The U.S. Marine Corps has announced that four MV-22B Ospreys from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268 successfully completed a trans-Pacific flight from Okinawa, Japan to Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, on May 2, 2019.
This has become a recurring milestone flight that the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and VMM-268 have successfully completed.
This flight comes at the completion of exercise Balikatan, where VMM-268 successfully accomplished a reconnaissance and surveillance insert and airfield seizure to Lubang Airfield, multiple assault support movements, and an amphibious assault exercise from the USS Wasp.
Flights like these demonstrate the Marine Corps’ reach and responsiveness in the Indo-Pacific and showcase the capability of aircraft to aggregate and get where they need to be within hours. The tiltrotor aircraft flew more than 5,300 nautical miles and conducted minimal, scheduled stops to refuel and rest.
These trans-Pacific flights present an invaluable training opportunity for the Marines, which require extensive planning and flawless execution in order to successfully make one of the longest MV-22 flights in the world. Additionally, these flights require coordination for aerial refueling using KC-130J Hercules from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 as well as maintaining continuous satellite communication across the Pacific.
The Marine Corps has several Osprey squadrons stationed in the Pacific in Hawaii and Japan which can transit over large overwater distances to aggregate into a larger force for crisis response missions.
Two MV-22 squadrons stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, as well as two at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, enhance III Marine Expeditionary Forces’s ability to support exercises and operations throughout the region. The MV-22 continues to serve as a highly capable and reliable platform suitable for missions on amphibious ships to desert terrain and mountainous regions.