MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Four MV-22B Ospreys with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit arrived in Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni today at the request of the Government of Japan to support the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force with relief efforts after a series of earthquakes struck the island of Kyushu earlier this week.
The Ospreys joined the four Ospreys that arrived yesterday from the Philippines for a total of eight MV-22Bs on standby to provide relief support as needed.
“We understand that the necessity of speed is critical in a situation like this so we placed our forces in the best position to provide support as needed,” said Col. Romin Dasmalchi, the commanding officer of the 31st MEU. “The Japanese government is more than capable of providing relief, but we don’t want to miss an opportunity to provide support if needed to the Japanese citizens affected by the earthquake.”
The Ospreys were chosen as the most effective aircraft for the job due to their time-distance and load carrying capabilities as well as their ability for vertical take-off and landing allowing the 31st MEU to provide aid in otherwise hard to reach areas.
“The Ospreys are uniquely suited for this situation. Their capabilities allow us to rapidly close the distance, get into affected areas and not rely on a runway,” said Dasmalchi. “The Osprey’s ability to land anywhere gives us options to deliver relief supplies that we wouldn’t have with a traditional fixed wing aircraft or helicopter.”
The 31st MEU is the only continually forward-deployed MEU and remains the Marine Corps’ force-in-readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.
For more information on the mission and history of the 31st MEU, contact 31st MEU Public Affairs Officer, Capt. Jennifer Giles, at Jennifer.Giles@usmc.mil or visit the unit’s websites at www.31stmeu.marines.mil/, or www.facebook.com/31stMEU.