MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
the fastest way to deliver chow and water to hungry Marines in the field?
For Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263, it’s
loading 200-pounds of chow and water in the back of an MV-22 Osprey, zooming
out to the training area and dropping it by parachute right into their grassy
exactly what VMM-263 did when they hosted para-operations for Marines with 2nd
Radio Battalion aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Aug. 18, 2015. The
squadron also dropped Marines and conducted low visibility flight operations to
crew departed Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, aboard an
MV-22 Osprey with three Marine parachute riggers, one 50-pound cargo load
consisting of boxes of meals, ready-to-eat, and one 150-pound cargo load
carrying water containers in tow. Upon reaching their designated altitude of
300 feet, the Osprey’s rear crew chief carefully pushed the load out, watching
it parachute down to Landing Zone Canary.
cargo was dropped at the minimum altitude of 300 feet,” said Capt. Jason A.
Nance, an Osprey pilot with VMM-263. “[That altitude] makes the drop more
accurate with less wind.”
air drop objective complete, it was time for the Marines to make their airborne
entrance. With final preparations made, the three Marines executed a low level
static line jump at an altitude of 1,250 feet, making their way down below to
operation gave us the chance to spend time in the field and acquire a more
realistic sense of real-life missions, wherever we may be,” said Sgt. Kurt
Kusterbeck, a jump master with 2nd Radio Battalion. “Our parachute riggers jump
once every 90 days to meet [current requirements].”
standard jumps conducted by parachute riggers may leave them familiar with the
skies, but this exercise proved that any Marine, to include the pilots
navigating above, can experience operations in a new environment for the first
time, and more importantly, be prepared for it, as was the case with the Osprey
was an unfamiliar LZ,” Nance said. “We did an environment study to assess
obstacles and best determine the right altitude for insert.”
Osprey made a final pass over LZ Canary to allow the jump masters to depart.
They then proceeded to build upon squadron proficiency by conducting several
practice landings, and taking to the clouds to specifically reflect flight
operations in areas of reduced visibility, such as in a storm or desert.
always a privilege to do this kind of training and contribute to our readiness,
and to also keep [the jumpers] current on their proficiency,” Nance said.