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
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
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
"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.