comscore Hawaii-based Ospreys arrive in Australia | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Every act of aloha counts. Click here to DONATE to the MAUI RELIEF Fund.
Top News

Hawaii-based Ospreys arrive in Australia

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now

Four Hawaii-based MV-22 Ospreys arrived at Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin today after flying nearly 6,000 miles and hopscotching across the Pacific, the Marine Corps said.

The tilt-rotor aircraft are with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268 (VMM-268) out of Kaneohe Bay. It’s the first trans-Pacific flight the Ospreys have conducted from Hawaii to Australia, the Marines said.

“The movement demonstrates that the range of our MV-22s combined with our refueling capabilities can allow us to reach across the entire Pacific Ocean,” Marine Rotational Force Darwin said in a release.

Some 1,250 Marines mostly from the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, out of California — but also Hawaii aircraft and personnel — are taking part in the annual deployment to Darwin in the Northern Territory.

The Corps sent its largest aircraft contingent to date — four MV-22 Ospreys, five AH-1W Super Cobra and four UH-1Y Venom helicopters, all out of Kaneohe Bay — to this year’s $25 million, six-month Marine Rotational Force Darwin iteration, which is intended to forge closer bonds with Australia while also giving the U.S. military another leaping-off point in the vast Pacific.

It’s the first deployment for VMM-268 out of Hawaii since the unit arrived from California last summer. By November the squadron had its full complement of 12 Ospreys, which take off and land like a helicopter and tilt the 38-foot rotors forward in level flight, converting the MV-22 into a high-speed turboprop airplane.

The squadron reached what’s known as “full operational capability” in Hawaii in January. Another 12 Ospreys are due in Hawaii in the 2018 fiscal year.

The MV-22 with a crew of three and 24 troops can cruise at 322 mph and has a range of 990 miles without refueling, according to the Navy. By comparison, the big CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter can carry 37 passengers in its normal configuration and up to 55 with centerline seats at 172 mph with a range of 621 miles.

The aircraft were expected to fly to Australia through Wake Island and Guam using KC-130 refuelers, Stars and Stripes previously reported.

Comments (0)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Click here to view ongoing news coverage of the Maui wildfires. Sign up for our free e-newsletter to get the latest news delivered to your inbox. Download the Honolulu Star-Advertiser mobile app to stay on top of breaking news coverage.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up