Photo Information

Two MV-22 Osprey piloted by Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 264, land at Landing Zone Kingfisher, Camp Lejeune, N.C., Aug. 12, 2015. Upon completion of troop transport, air crews practiced tactical landings, utilizing the Osprey’s unique blend of helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft, to complete their operation. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Paul S. Martinez/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Paul S. Martinez

Ospreys demonstrate agility for casualty evacuations

12 Aug 2015 | Cpl. Paul S. Martinez II Marine Expeditionary Force

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 security perimeter.

“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, explained Vallera.”

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.”