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#415792 - 09/09/11 08:53 AM US Marines newest combat utility aircraft to visit  
Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
[Linked Image]

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (September 8, 2011) — Belize citizens will have a unique opportunity to see the United States Marine Corps’ newest combat utility aircraft in action in September when the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing visits to conduct training in Belize.
This morning four MV-22 Ospreys with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron, based out of Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., will fly non-stop to Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City. The approximately 1,300-mile flight will require multiple aerial refueling operations from two KC-130J aircraft with Marine Ariel Refueler Transport Squadron 252 to reach the Central American nation.

The 2nd MAW aircraft based out of MCAS Cherry Point will fly with the Osprey to Belize refueling them the whole way. Once the Osprey arrive at its destination the KC-130s will return to Cherry Point, but will make multiple flights back to Belize for logistical support.

Nearly 80 people are deploying with VMM-365 for this exercise. Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 271 as well as a variety of supporting agencies, some of who are already in country, will provide support to VMM-365. MWSS-271’s support will include communications, engineering, and airfield and medical support.

To be able to go to Belize for this type of training is special and for many of the Marines it’s the first time they will travel outside the U.S. explained Pirrotta.

“These exercises are normally limited to the U.S. and the opportunity to go to another nation is a unique opportunity,” said Pirrotta. In coordination with the Belize Defense Force, the Marines will conduct low-altitude training over the Belizean countryside during their 10-day stay. The mission for this exercise is to have the MV-22 self-deploy to Belize in order to train over water, improve self-deployment capability and conduct unit training, said Maj. Stephen M. Pirrotta, Operations Officer with VMM-365.

“The British had recently removed their aviation that was supporting the Belize Defense Force,” explained Pirrotta. “This deployment and training provides an opportunity to establish a working relationship with the BDF and establish future 2nd MAW training opportunities.”

This exercise will give local citizens many opportunities to see the Osprey in action. The Osprey takes off and lands like a helicopter, but flies like a conventional aircraft, allowing it to fly twice as fast, carry three times the weight, and travel four times farther than the helicopters it has replaced.

With more than 100,000 flight hours under its belt, the Osprey has proven itself a tough and reliable aircraft to the Marines who pilot it and to those who ride in the back. This versatile aircraft can accomplish many Marine Corps missions, such as delivering troops into combat, performing rescue and recovery operations, and providing humanitarian assistance in locations that can’t be reached by airplane.

Belize citizens will see an aircraft that looks, sounds and performs like no other, while the Marines enjoy the beautiful scenery that makes Belize such a popular tourist destination on the Caribbean Sea.

“There has been a significant amount of planning with multiple units for this exercise,” said Pirrotta. “We are glad to be at the execution stage.”

#415794 - 09/09/11 09:13 AM Re: US Marines newest combat utility aircraft to visit [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Dec 2006
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elbert Offline
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The transformers are coming!

Last edited by elbert; 09/09/11 09:13 AM.

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#416320 - 09/16/11 08:32 AM Re: US Marines newest combat utility aircraft to visit [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,785
Marty Offline
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US Ospreys In Belize

The United States Government has once again chosen Belize to conduct military training exercises, and this time, it's the Marine Corp that's in the country to execute a 10 day deployment for training.

The Marines flew into Belize last Thursday aboard four of their newest combat utility aircraft, the MV-22 Osprey, that will be at the center of its training exercises.

In coordination with the Belize Defense Force, the Marines will fly over the Belizean countryside conducting unit training, which will include low-altitude flights, flights into confined areas, self-deployment capability exercises, and over-water exercises.

Training locations include Price Barracks, the Hattieville Range and the Jungle Warfare Training Center. The Osprey is a unique aircraft that can be refueled in mid-air. It's able to take off and land like a helicopter, but flies like a conventional aircraft, allowing it to fly twice as fast, while carrying three times its weight, and travelling four times farther than the helicopters it has replaced.

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#416636 - 09/20/11 08:19 AM Re: US Marines newest combat utility aircraft to visit [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,785
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Ospreys demonstrate unique aerial capabilities in Belize

The MV-22 Osprey continues to prove its versatility and capability as one of the newest machines in the Marine Corps’ arsenal. Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 self-deployed to the small Central American country of Belize to conduct training this week demonstrating the Osprey’s enhanced utility over conventional helicopters.

First, the squadron demonstrated the Marine Corps’ ability to self-deploy. VMM-365 in conjunction with Marine Aerial Refueler Squadron 252 conducted long-range non-stop aerial refueling from MCAS New River to Belize. In doing so, they demonstrated the tiltrotor aircraft’s extraordinary capability to conduct over-the-horizon operations and deal with a variety of situations when called upon.

“We can fly non-stop from North Carolina all the way to the country of Belize without stopping on the ground, allowing us to deploy ourselves,” said Capt. Ryan E. Benes, a pilot for VMM-365. “We’ve done this multiple times where we’ve flown from North Carolina to Arizona and California with only the support of KC-130’s refueling us in air. With the self deploy aspect, we can launch from the United States and go anywhere they really need us.”

After arriving in Belize, VMM-365 began training its pilots and aircrew to the same high standards they do at home but with an added degree of Operational Risk Management.

“Planning a Deployment for Training outside of the Continental United States has some unique challenges that you don’t encounter when planning one in CONUS” said Lt. Col. Craig LeFlore, commanding officer of VMM-365 and the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing detachment commander.

“We are going to a country where this type of support has never been set up and the knowledge on how to set it up is limited. The things that you would normally take for granted to sustain your unit stateside has to either be carried with you or contracted through a husbandry agent. This isn’t too hard when you’re just dealing with people, but when you factor in the need to maintain aircraft and sustain flight operations it becomes quite a challenge.”

This DFT provides the crews of VMM-365 the opportunity to practice basic Training and Readiness maneuvers in a much more unforgiving environment. “We have a number of junior pilots and aircrew that need some basic Confined Area Landings, Low Altitude Training and Aerial Refueling experience before we deploy again this winter. This is a great opportunity to get out of our own back yard, out of our comfort zone and conduct some tremendous training in an unfamiliar territory. Here in Belize, there are no established LAT routes, so we have to make one, there are no designated MV-22 landing zones, so the pilots have to be selective when picking out where to land, and getting here was half the fun. Being able to aerial refuel long range over the water is just another opportunity to showcase the capabilities of the Osprey.”

The pilots practice confined area landings at landing zones in the Belizean jungle and Maya Mountains. In the mountains, they cannot afford to overshoot or come up short of a landing zone because of the ruggedness of the terrain.

According to Capt. Pete D. Benning, the officer in charge of the VMM-365 flight line Marines, this ability is used often when on deployment.

“Overseas in a combat zone, we do a lot of confined area landings any time we go out to a forward operating base to take Marines to or from the field or wherever we take their bullets, beans and band aids,” said Benning. “A confined area landing is pretty much any landing environment away from a runway or a prepared surface.” According to Capt. Pete D. Benning, the officer in charge of the VMM-365 flight line Marines, this skill is used often when on deploymentThe pilots also practice low altitude tactics; evasion techniques to avoid enemy fire. Because the Osprey is faster, more maneuverable and can fly higher, it has demonstrated itself as being a more survivable platform in a hostile environment.”

According to Benes, the Osprey was built to replace the CH-46 “Frog,” Helicopters typically fly at 500 feet, while the Osprey can fly at 10,000 feet to transport troops. Also, the Osprey can fly at about 280 knots, twice as fast as a normal helicopter, which makes it harder to hit at low altitudes.

Besides making it harder to hit, speed can also have a great impact on accomplishing time-sensitive missions.

“The sooner you can get an asset to the battlefield, the better outcome it will have,” Benes said. “If we get time sensitive information that there is a target that has to be prosecuted by Marines on the ground, we have the ability to get the Marines there twice as fast. If somebody needs to get extracted or if there’s a casualty evacuation, we can get there twice as fast and get them to a hospital that much faster as well. That’s a pretty big deal.”

Demonstrating their speed, VMM-365 flew the north-south distance of the country in about 50 minutes.

This is the first operation of its kind for an Osprey squadron in Belize. VMM-365 is spearheading an effort for more training opportunities for the Corps’ Osprey squadrons in this location.

By Lance Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

#416693 - 09/20/11 04:19 PM Re: US Marines newest combat utility aircraft to visit [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,434
Katie Valk Offline
Katie Valk  Offline
Saw them this weekend in the foothills of the Mtn Pine Ridge. One was flying as a plane and the other as a helicopter. Also saw the 4 of them parked at the Intl, one next to the other last Friday. Impressive sound they make while flying. We need all the help we can get watching the border between BZ and Guate, so I welcome their presence and hope they can stop incursions.

Belize based travel specialist
#416695 - 09/20/11 04:52 PM Re: US Marines newest combat utility aircraft to visit [Re: Katie Valk]  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 8,868
SP Daily Offline
SP Daily  Offline
Dirty Ernie showed up...I'm outa here!

Last edited by SP Daily; 09/21/11 06:50 PM.
#416788 - 09/21/11 06:23 PM Re: US Marines newest combat utility aircraft to visit [Re: SP Daily]  
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 10,850
Ernie B Offline
Ernie B  Offline
Always looking for a hand out, why not do it yourself.

Gun Control is Hitting Your Target.
#416796 - 09/21/11 09:18 PM Re: US Marines newest combat utility aircraft to visit [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 4,672
LaurieMar Offline
LaurieMar  Offline
LOL E, good to see their presence is welcome, as I see too many comments banging the U.S. and not just the Marines. Tiresome!

#416882 - 09/22/11 07:51 PM Re: US Marines newest combat utility aircraft to visit [Re: LaurieMar]  
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 10,850
Ernie B Offline
Ernie B  Offline
Laurie, lets give them the privilege of going in FIRST and see how they like that.

Gun Control is Hitting Your Target.
#416887 - 09/22/11 09:58 PM Re: US Marines newest combat utility aircraft to visit [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,785
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
First time deployment for some exceeds expectations in Belize

9/21/2011 By Lance Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki , Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point

BRITISH ARMY TRAINING SUPPORT UNIT, BELIZE (Sept. 21, 2011) — Many Marine recruiters promise young civilians the opportunity to see the world and travel to many foreign lands. For some, it is a deciding factor; for others, a pleasant bonus. For most, the first time traveling abroad is a memorable experience.

Several junior officers and enlisted Marines experienced their first visit to “any clime and place” when Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 self-deployed to Belize in Central America with ground support from Marine Wing Support Squadron 271.

The pilots said the experience was unique because many had never before flown a MV-22B Osprey in mountainous jungle terrain.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to take the Osprey into different environments that we can’t necessarily duplicate in the U. S.,” said 1st Lt. Sean Stanley, the ground safety officer, naval aviation training and operating procedures officer, and a pilot on his first deployment outside of the continental U.S. with VMM-365. “It’s great to come out here and find these conditions and remote landing zones to really prove the capabilities of the Osprey, something we can’t always do in our limited flying environment in North Carolina. It’s been a lot of fun out here seeing what the Osprey can do in a place I’ve never been and an environment the Osprey has never been in.”

The main challenge of operating in a foreign country is that they usually don’t have the same level of infrastructure that America has. Belize is not a rich country and can’t build bases with the same amenities that Marine Corps bases have, so MWSS-271 Marines on their first deployments had to overcome challenges they had never faced before. The internet was a prime example.

“We build and maintain computer networks,” said Lance Cpl. David W. Kent, a data systems specialist for MWSS-271 and also a Marine on his first deployment outside of the continental U.S. “We started from the ground up so we ran all the lines and tested out the computers. The really hard part was that it’s our first time down here so we didn’t really know what to expect, what our parameters were or to what extent we would be supporting VMM-365. We didn’t know what abilities the facilities had being a British base on a Belize camp. It’s kind of like, ‘pack for the worst, hope for the best.’”

Both squadrons managed to plan some fun into their schedules. VMM-365 allowed both MWSS-271 and VMM-365 ground personnel the unique opportunity to ride in the back of their Ospreys. Also, Sept. 14 was set aside as a morale, welfare and recreation day. Enlisted and officers enjoyed visiting the Mayan ruins at Altun Ha, zip lining at Cave’s Branch Outpost Adventure, scuba diving and playing games at a local casino.

“Yesterday was pretty awesome,” said Lance Cpl. Brandi N. Rosser, an airframe mechanic for VMM-365 also on her first deployment. “We were supposed to go cave tubing but that was cancelled and I wasn’t really excited about zip lining, but it turned out to be pretty awesome. It was nice to get away from the flight line and do that.”

For VMM-365, mixing good times with hard work is part of what makes the squadron a more effective unit.

“Morale is key,” Stanley said. “You got to have high morale in order to keep your squadron moving. If you never reward anybody for their hard work, then they’re going to stop working for you. I think the MWR was key and our commanding officer does an awesome job in making sure there’s some fun built into our workday, which is why we succeed as a squadron.”

The first deployment is always an exciting time for Marines eager to experience the adventure part of military life.

“It was unbelizable,” Kent said, laughing.

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