News: Marines train with Osprey at Ie Shima
Story by Lance Cpl. Kasey Peacock
IE SHIMA, Japan - Marines conducted dual-point external training with an MV-22B Osprey at Ie Shima, Okinawa, Oct. 25. Landing support specialists with Combat Logistics Regiment 37, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, supported Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 during external training, which consists of lifting a 7,000-pound concrete block and moving it to different locations around a landing zone.
The concrete block simulates the weight of equipment that may need to be moved in combat or humanitarian-assistance operations, such as military vehicles, supplies, food and water.
“Our mission is to get in and extract the object as quickly and safely as possible,” said Capt. David M. Venci, a pilot with VMM-265, a part of Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III MEF. “While we train with the 7,000-pound block, the Osprey has an external lifting capability up to 12,500 pounds.”
VMM-265 recently switched from the CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter to the MV-22B Osprey, which allows dual-point external operations to be executed at faster speeds.
“With the Osprey having increased capabilities compared to the CH-46 and operating at faster speeds, we can accomplish our mission faster and more efficiently,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jaymz L. Bott, a crew chief with the squadron.
The training consisted of landing support specialists using dual-point hook external systems to attach the concrete block to the Osprey. The Marines endured extreme winds and rotor wash to connect the hooks that hang from the aircraft hovering above them.
During the training, it was vital for the pilot and crew to stay in constant communication with the Marines on the ground to ensure there were no errors, according to Sgt. Robert D. Gallini, a landing support specialist with the regiment.
“In combat situations, we need to be quick while being as safe as possible,” said Gallini. “This training is extremely important because working with Ospreys is relatively new to many Marines.”
This was the second time on Okinawa the Osprey was used for external training, and it is scheduled for many different training events in the future, according to Bott.
“We have many experienced Osprey pilots on Okinawa,” said Bott. “It is important we get the ground Marines as much training with the aircraft as we can, so that everyone is familiar with its capabilities.”