VMMT-204 trains future Osprey Crews
US Marine Corps, May 14, 2012 - MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. — By Lance Cpl. Martin R. Egnash - The Marine Corps has been training with the MV-22B Osprey for more than 10 years. In 2005, the Marine Corps began transitioning from CH-46D Sea Knight to the Osprey, a transition that is still going on today.
The Marines who fly and work on the Osprey began at Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204.
“It all starts here,” said Maj. Jason N. Myers, VMMT-204 operations officer. “Anyone who flies an MV-22B Osprey in the Marine Corps has come through our doors.”
VMMT-204 trains pilots and crew chiefs to operate the Osprey. Myers estimates 120 pilots are trained by the squadron each year.
“It is paramount to provide the Marine Corps with well-trained Osprey pilots,” said Myers. “That’s why we train all the time.”
Myers said the dedicated Raptors instructors routinely train students on weekends and holidays to ensure mission success. The Raptors furthered the training of two pilots and two crew chiefs during a routine flight May 3.
“We’re doing multiple scenarios during this flight,” said Capt. Matthew T. Dwyer, VMMT-204 instructor pilot. “We will also be calling out emergency procedures along the way for the students and crew to react to.”
While en route to a confined area landing scenario, they reacted to a simulated external load suspension systems failure, to train the students to make sound decisions in a stressful environment.
“We ask our crew chiefs and pilots to make decisions in various situations on every flight,” said Dwyer. “After a month or so of daily emergency procedures, the students cover a wide variety of topics.”
While Dwyer trained the future Osprey pilots, the crew chiefs trained in the back of the aircraft. The crew chief students familiarized themselves with pre-flight inspections, in-flight procedures and post-flight checklists.
Crew chiefs also make use of night vision goggles and other equipment essential to working in the back of an Osprey.
“The crew chiefs go through a lot of training,” said Sgt. Charles R. Bishop, VMMT-204 instructor. “After almost two months of ground training, we take them up on flight after flight to get them used to different missions.”
Bishop said that by the time most students graduate, getting their aircrew wings is one of the highlights of their careers.
“We’re extremely proud of them,” said Bishop. “They go off to fly around the world and do great things, and we know that we helped make that happen.”
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VMMT-204 Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 US Marine Corps