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Another first for VMM-263

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  • Another first for VMM-263

    ABOARD USS BATAAN – The 22nd
    Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) made his-
    tory by using two MV-22B Ospreys, assigned
    to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM)
    263 (Reinforced), to conduct a ship-to-shore
    emergency medical evacuation (MEDEVAC)
    of a Sailor from USS Batann (LHD 5) June
    25, 2009.
    This is the fi rst time the aircraft has been
    used to conduct such a mission from the sea.
    At approximately 4:30 p.m., two Ospreys
    were returning to Bataan after a routine mis-
    sion when the pilots were notifi ed of an emer-
    gency situation. The aircraft were ordered to
    return to the ship at maximum speed.
    After landing aboard Bataan, the patient
    and team of medical personnel were brought
    aboard the aircraft and lifted off at 4:50 p.m.
    from Bataan’s fl ight deck. The aircraft trav-
    elled 147 nautical miles in 37 minutes to a re-
    gional airport where an ambulance was used
    to transfer the Sailor to a hospital for further
    The Sailor sustained head and hip injuries
    as well as chest pains after falling. The Sailor
    is in stable condition in the U.S. Central Com-
    mand area awaiting further transfer.
    “Everybody from the ship made this very
    easy for us,” said Maj. Brett A. Hart, assistant
    operations offi cer for VMM 263 and one of
    the pilots on the mission. “It was an all-hands
    effort and everybody gave their utmost to en-
    sure the safety of this Sailor.”
    Hart, who has had experience in conduct-
    ing MEDEVACS in other aircraft like the CH-
    46E Sea Knight, said the biggest difference
    with using the Osprey was the rapid speed
    with which the mission was executed.
    “By virtue of having this aircraft, we were
    able to do it much faster and farther,” he said.
    “This is a fi ne example of why we have an air-
    craft like this.”
    The 22nd MEU deployed May 15, 2009,
    aboard ships from the Bataan Amphibious
    Ready Group and is currently deployed to the
    U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
    The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit is a
    multi-purpose force of more than 2,200 Ma-
    rines and Sailors. Led by Col. Gareth F. Brandl,
    the 22nd MEU is composed of its Ground
    Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team,
    3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment; Aviation
    Combat Element, VMM-263 (Rein); Logistics
    Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion
    22; and its Command Element.