US Marine Corps, December 06, 2010 - MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. - By Cpl. Steven H. Posy - Marine Medium Tiltrotor squadron 561 became the Corps' newest MV-22 Osprey squadron on the West Coast during a squadron activation ceremony held here Dec. 2.
A crowd of Marines and spectators gathered at the ceremony as Lt. Col. Warren J. Curry, the VMM-561 commanding officer, took control of the new squadron.
“These Marines are making history today and are a part something special,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas L. Conant, the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing commanding general. “They are part of a great legacy.”
The ceremony commenced with a performance by the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Marching Band, followed by words from Curry.
“We started from scratch, and 18 months later we stand up ready to deploy,” said Curry. “Today starts the day to become a cohesive and disciplined unit ready to serve our corps.”
VMM-561 represented the legacy of the squadron by parking a vintage UH-34 “Sea Horse” helicopter, along with an Osprey, behind a formation of Marines on the flight line.
Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 561 flew the UH-34 during the Vietnam era.
Now the MV-22, with its tilt-rotor platform, currently serves the Marine Corps in combat operations in Afghanistan.The Osprey represents a new era of aviation and the future of the medium-lift airframe.
From flying Marines in the early 60s to conducting operations in Operations Iraqi and Enduring freedom, VMM-561 carries its history into the 21st century.