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    Okinawa families view Osprey aircraft

    Okinawa families view Osprey aircraft

    Photo By Sgt. Nicholas Ranum | Families tour an MV-22B Osprey during a family day hosted by Marine Medium Tiltrotor...... read more read more



    Story by Lance Cpl. Nicholas Ranum 

    III Marine Expeditionary Force   

    MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, Japan - Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 hosted an MV-22B Osprey family day for Okinawa community members March 3 at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

    Approximately 300 parents and children attended the event, aimed at familiarizing families with the Osprey and its capabilities.

    “This was an opportunity to show local communities what the Osprey is,” said Lt. Col. William L. DePue, the commanding officer of VMM-265, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “This is the first time that we have had families touring the Osprey, and it was a great opportunity to give some members of the community a firsthand look at the aircraft.”

    Families were able to tour two Ospreys, try on flight safety equipment, talk with aircrews, and view a video presentation on the capabilities of the Osprey during the family day.

    Each station was manned by the squadron’s Marines to provide detailed explanations and answer questions from attendees.

    “I demonstrated how to put on the equipment and helped them try it on, so they could see how it felt,” said Lance Cpl. Devon B. Springer, a flight equipment technician with the squadron. “The kids enjoyed it, and the parents could see that safety is very important during our operations.”

    Safety and operations of the Osprey were main topics throughout the day, with attendees asking many questions on the topics.

    “I learned from the pilots the aircraft flies faster, farther and longer than the (CH-46E),” said Machida Kazuko, a family day attendee. “I would love to fly in one and look down (on) Okinawa and my home. I am very impressed with the aircraft.”

    Prior to the family day, many attendees were unfamiliar with the aircraft. The family day was a welcomed opportunity for guests.

    “Before coming to this event, I did not know much about the Osprey,” said Bunei Iwana, a family day attendee. “I wanted to see it with my own eyes.”

    The event was interactive, with attendees asking a variety of questions about many topics regarding the Osprey.

    “Any opportunity for a bilateral cultural exchange is a great opportunity, not only for us, but also for the community,” said DePue. “It was a great opportunity for the Marines to interact with citizens from the community, and allowed the attendees to see what the squadron can do with the aircraft.”

    Due to the nature of III MEF operations, the Osprey may be called upon to perform in a humanitarian role.

    “Two things I learned about the Osprey are its ability to land anywhere and the increased amount of material it can carry,” said Iwana. “Not only for combat missions but for humanitarian or disaster relief operations too. If supplies are needed, this aircraft could carry them where they need to go.”

    The realization of capabilities was just one result of the family day.

    “This event is incredibly important because it allows people to see the aircraft up close,” said Iwana. “It also allows for people to talk to the aircrew to learn how the aircraft operates while in the air. It was also an opportunity to express how we feel to the service members.”

    The attendees were not the only ones who enjoyed the family day.

    “The families liked putting on the equipment and taking pictures in front of the aircraft,” said Springer. “Seeing the smiles on their faces and the good time they had put a smile on my face too.”



    Date Taken: 03.03.2013
    Date Posted: 03.06.2013 23:43
    Story ID: 103034

    Web Views: 763
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