Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Marines fly Osprey from Miramar to Brazil, set record

Marines fly Osprey from Miramar to Brazil, set record: The Marine Corps set a new distance record for Osprey flights on Tuesday as three MV-22Bs traveled from California to Brazil.

Flight crews from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 764 flew 6,165 miles from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar to Rio de Janeiro. The Marines made the journey as part of UNITAS Amphibious 2015, a nine-day multinational maritime exercise that runs through Nov. 24. About 1,000 troops from Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay and Peru are participating.

The Osprey squadron made a five-leg flight that included stops in Trinidad and Tobago, and Brazil, said 1st Lt. Tyler Hopkins, a UNITAS spokesman. The three Ospreys were supported by three KC-130J Hercules tankers from Marine Aerial Refueler Squadron 234 and one KC-130 from Marine Aerial Refueler Squadron 452.

The flight took five days as leadership decided to wait out some bad weather, said Lt. Col. Greg Gehman, commander of the VMM-764 Moonlighters. Lessons learned from the long flight will lead to faster and more efficient responses, and help to better prepare flight crews for crossing international boundaries and dealing with environmental concerns, he said.