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MV-22 Ospreys Conduct Medical Evacuation

30th June 2009 - 13:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) made history 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 Bataan (LHD 5) June 25.

This is the first 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 mission when the pilots were notified of an emergency 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 flight deck. The aircraft travelled 147 nautical miles in 37 minutes to a regional airport where an ambulance was used to transfer the Sailor to a hospital for further treatment.

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 Command area awaiting further transfer.

"Everybody from the ship made this very easy for us," said Maj. Brett A. Hart, assistant operations officer for VMM 263 and one of the pilots on the mission. "It was an all-hands effort and everybody gave their utmost to ensure the safety of this Sailor."

Hart, who has had experience in conducting 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 fine example of why we have an aircraft like this."

The 22nd MEU deployed May 15, 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 multipurpose force of more than 2,200 Marines 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.

By 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit Public Affairs

The Shephard News Team


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