Press Release - MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (Sept. 13, 2011) – Citizens of Belize are experiencing a unique opportunity to see the United States Marine Corps' newest combat utility aircraft in action this month as Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365, Marine Aircraft Group 26, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing visits to conduct training in Belize.
On Sept. 8, four MV-22 Ospreys from VMM-365, based at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., flew non-stop to Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City. The 1,300-mile flight required multiple aerial refueling operations from two Marine Corps KC-130 aircraft to their training destination.
The 2nd MAW Marines are executing a 10-day deployment for training. In coordination with the Belize Defense Force, Marines will fly over the Belizean countryside conducting unit training to include low-altitude flights, flights into confined areas, self-deployment capability exercises, and over water exercises. Training locations will include Price Barracks adjacent to the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport, Hattieville Range and the Jungle Warfare Training Center.
This training deployment is providing local citizens many opportunities to see the Osprey in action. The Osprey takes off and lands like a helicopter but flies like a conventional aircraft, allowing it to fly twice as fast, carry three times the weight, and travel four times farther than the helicopters it has replaced.
With more than 100,000 flight hours under its belt, the Osprey has proven itself a tough and reliable aircraft to the Marines who pilot it and to those who ride in the back. This versatile aircraft can accomplish many Marine Corps missions, such as delivering troops into combat, performing rescue and recovery operations, and providing humanitarian assistance in locations that can't be reached by airplane.
Citizens of Belize are seeing an aircraft that looks, sounds and performs like no other, while the Marines are enjoying the beautiful scenery that makes Belize such a popular tourist destination on the Caribbean Sea!