VMM-268 conducts trans-Pacific flight
By 2nd Lt. Colin Kennard
| III Marine Expeditionary Force | October 14, 2018
MV-22B Osprey’s assigned to Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268 (VMM-268) are parked on the flight line during a homecoming event for VMM-268, Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH), Sept. 28, 2018. VMM-268 has been deployed to Australia for Marine Rotational Force Darwin for the past 6 months. During this rotation, they participated in numerous training exercises in and around Australia with various Indo-Pacific partners and allies. III Marine Expeditionary Forces in Hawaii are ready, capable, and relevant. The a trans-Pacific flights conducted by Marine Aircraft Group 24 have shrunk the theater significantly, allowing the Marine Corps to aggregate combat force in the western Pacific from Hawaii in a matter of days. U.S. Marine Corps Forces in Hawaii are now part of the strategic calculus in a ‘fight tonight’ scenario. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Kirk)
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII -- Eight MV-22 Ospreys from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268 successfully completed a trans-Pacific flight from Darwin, Australia to Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, on Sept. 28. This is the second time in 18 months that the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and VMM-268 have successfully completed this flight.
Flights like these demonstrate the Marine Corps' reach and responsiveness in the Indo-Pacific and showcase the capability of our aircraft to get where they need to be within hours. This year's flight doubles the amount of aircraft from last year's flight of four Ospreys. 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. 1st MAW recently received its newest Osprey squadron, VMM-363, at Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii in August of this year.
The two MV-22 squadrons stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay enhance III MEF's ability to support exercises and operations. The MV-22 continues to serve as a highly capable and reliable platform suitable for missions on amphibious ships to desert terrain.