Osprey From California to Brazil set Record
Three MV-22B Osprey from Marine Reserve Squadron VMM-764 set a new distance record of 6165 miles/9920 Km flying from California to Brazil during UNITAS Amphibious 2015
US Marine Corps, November 18, 2015 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by Lance M. Bacon - 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.
Such challenges were evident when Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response was called into action in January 2014 to help evacuate the U.S. Embassy in Juba, South Sudan. The team, based out of Morón, Spain, flew nearly 4,200 miles (roughly the distance from Anchorage, Alaska, to Miami) to pull more than 20 embassy personnel out of the country amid violence between factions on the brink of civil war.
The necessity of aerial refueling for the Osprey was a key part of the mission, and the KC-130 Super Hercules allowed the crisis response Marines to travel quickly to the site, conduct a speedy mission and prevent a potential catastrophe.
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VMM-764 Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 764 US Marine Corps
Bell V-22 Osprey in US Marine Corps
Exercise UNITAS Atlantic 2015