MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The MV-22 Osprey’s ability to blend vertical flight
capabilities of a helicopter with the speed, range, altitude and endurance of
fixed-wing aircraft was put to use for several casualty evacuation drills above
Camp Lejeune. North Carolina, Aug. 12, 2015.
Air crew belonging to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 264
departed Marine Corps Air Station New River in an MV-22 Osprey aircraft and
made their way to Landing Zone Kingfisher, Camp Lejeune, where a company of
infantry Marines belonging to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment was waiting.
Upon landing, squads maneuvered several feet short of the ramp, and while one
helped carry a simulated casualty on board the aircraft, the rest set up a
“The first portion of the operation was us working with
casualty evacuation,” said Capt. Gregory Vallera, an MV-22 Osprey pilot with
the squadron. “They call us in; we establish an area of holding, and use the
nine-line format to proceed inbound to the objective area.
The exercise was beneficial not only to the grunts but also
for the pilots and crewmembers.
“It gives [the infantry] the chance to make the proper calls
over the radio, and see how the aircraft goes in there, and it gives us the
chance to rehearse the scenario as well, and the planning that comes with it,
The nine-line medical evacuation format is a method used by
Marines when calling in aircraft for evacuation. It consists of nine points of
vital information, to include location, patients by precedence, special
equipment needed, number of patients by type and nuclear, and biological or
chemical contamination, if applicable.
“This training is valuable because if we are ever in a
situation where we have to do a medical evacuation, we have learned the mindset
here,” said Pvt. Martin Lovrity, a machine gunner with the company. “It’s more
practice for us if the real deal comes.”
The next portion of the exercise was a troop transport from
LZ Kingfisher to Austere Landing Zone 33 near the main side area of Camp
Lejeune. The run was conducted twice, with a total transportation count of 56
Marines and their equipment, to include Mk-153 shoulder-launched multipurpose
assault weapons and M240B medium machine guns.
“It was an awesome experience and my first time on an
Osprey,” Lovrity said. “I now have a better understanding of the Marine Air
Ground Team, and I can’t wait to do it again.”
After all Marines were transported, the air crew continued
to fly over the objective area to allow air traffic controllers on the ground
to gain more knowledge and training. Finally, they conducted several practice landings
to round out the day.
“It was a great opportunity to work with the infantry, and
to do the proper planning beforehand and see how they do things,” Varella said.
“Working with Bravo Company is a pleasure. They are very professional and I
hope they got the training that they needed.”