Osprey squadron arrives in Hawaii

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Seven MV-22B Ospreys arrived in Hawaii Saturday, beginning a permanent relocation of a tiltrotor squadron from San Diego.

The Ospreys were transported from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar to Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard, the Marines said in a statement.

The aircraft are part of the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 363, or VMM-363, and they are the first of 12 to be transferred. The final five are expected to arrive later this month, the Marines said.

Ospreys are able to land vertically like a helicopter and fly like a fixed-wing aircraft.

VMM-363’s new command is Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.

The squadron was activated in 2012 at Miramar as part of Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

Marines were flying Ospreys in Hawaii before this latest group of aircraft arrived.

Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268 operates 12 Ospreys out of the Kaneohe Bay, which is on the windward side of Oahu. Some of those are on a rotational deployment to Darwin, Australia.

“VMM-363’s capabilities will significantly enhance the Marine Corps’ ability to perform humanitarian assistance and disaster response, respond to crises and fulfill other alliance roles in the Indo-Pacific region,” the Marines said.

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© 2018 the Stars and Stripes

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