By Sgt. James Mecure
AT SEA - The U.S. Marines made their first landing with an MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor helicopter aboard a Japanese Ship, June 14, 2013.
The landing is significant because it provides another avenue of approach during any future humanitarian and disaster relief operations in the region.
As part of ongoing Exercise Dawn Blitz 2013, the Marines from Marine Medium Tilt-rotor Squadron 161 (VMM-161), Marine Aircraft Group-16, 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade demonstrated the abilities of the MV-22 aircraft aboard Japanese Maritime Defense Forces ship JS Hyuga (DDG-181) for the first time off of the Southern California coast.
“The Osprey landing here is a historic event,” said Marine Brig. Gen. John Broadmeadow, commanding general 1st MEB. “The Japanese Army and Navy are here working together with the U.S. Marine Corps from a coalition standpoint and because of this exercise we can showcase the interoperability of the MV-22 and the Japanese ships."
MV-22 Osprey aircraft commanded by Lt. Col. Bradley J. Harms, flew from Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar along with Brig. Gen. Broadmeadow and Japanese leaders from the Japanese Self Defense Forces and landed aboard the JS Shimokita and JS Hyuga.
After landing, Japanese crew members showed how the MV-22 assist in a humanitarian and disaster relief scenario, where a simulated casualty and supplies was taken off the aircraft aboard the ship. U.S. Navy and Marines conducted familiarization training with Japanese crews in preparation of the landings, June 3-11.
Pilots who landed the MV-22 on the JS Hyuga discussed the significance of the aircraft’s capability that can be used to respond to missions across the range of military operations, including disasters and humanitarian relief in the future.
“This is a great opportunity for our countries to familiarize ourselves with this aircraft and demonstrates an important way to move forward with how we can utilize it in the future,” said Maj. Eric Sandberg, one of the pilots for the historic flight.
More than 5,000 total forces from the U.S., Canada, Japan and New Zealand are participating in the third iteration Dawn Blitz taking place across Southern California, June 11-28.