Osprey supports amphibious assault
By Cpl. Vanessa Jimenez
| | February 18, 2013
NAKHON RATCHASIMA, Kingdom of Thailand --
An MV-22B Osprey conducted a flyby during an amphibious assault demonstration at Hat Yao, Kingdom of Thailand, Feb. 14 part of exercise Cobra Gold 2013.
U.S. Marines and sailors from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit executed the demonstration alongside Royal Thai Marines.
“Both the Thai Military and the United States Marine Corps combined their assets to execute a full on bilateral amphibious assault mission from the sea via ship and from the air via assault support platforms and tactical air,” said U.S. Marine Capt. Travis E. Keeney, a pilot with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
CG 13 is an annual multinational exercise co-sponsored by Thailand and the U.S. to advance regional security by exercising a robust multinational force from nations sharing common goals and security commitments in the Asia-Pacific region.
“I’m out here today in support of exercise Cobra Gold,” said U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Wade M. Davis, a flightline division chief with VMM-265. “I think it’s a great opportunity for the MV-22 to be out here to be able to take part in this exercise to show our capabilities.”
Use of the Osprey significantly strengthens III MEF’s ability to efficiently and effectively conduct missions that contribute to peace and security.
“The more of our partners and allies that understand the Osprey’s capabilities, the better served the aircraft will be,” said Keeney. “The aircraft has long range, high-speed and high-altitude capabilities, and it really just changes the assault support game.”
The MV-22 is twice as fast, carries nearly three times the payload and has four times the range of a CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter.
“I’ve been here before, I’ve taken part in this exercise in a CH-46E, and I had a great time then,” said Davis. “It just seemed like it took us a long time to get to our areas, whereas with the MV-22 it takes significantly less time. That’s one of the many positive things about the aircraft.”
The Osprey also has the ability to operate at much higher altitudes and refuel while airborne.
“The aircraft is basically unlimited with aerial refueling. Its ability to avoid threats, multiple types of threat environments and its long range is essential for its use,” said Keeney. “Even without aerial refueling, its combat radius is — all around — just a great new platform to the operational environment.”
Safety is a priority for pilots and crewmembers contributing to a safety record that is better than USMC averages.
“My role would be no different during actual operations. I treat any passengers on the aircraft the same,” said Davis. “I sit in the back. I take care of the passengers. I make sure they get seat belted in. I make sure their gear is where it’s supposed to be, and they don’t lose it. It’s part of a standard operating procedure that we have.”
The Osprey is a highly-capable aircraft with and excellent operational safety record, and the Marines of VMM-265 look forward to the opportunity to be able to show the aircraft’s numerous capabilities.
“All of the pilots, maintainers and crew chiefs are really proud of this aircraft, and they all work really hard to help create a really good platform even though it’s still young,” said Keeney. “We’re still developing a lot of the tactics, techniques and procedures, but it’s executed numerous combat and amphibious deployments. It’s proven itself and is really coming into its own as an airplane.”