Photo Information

Two MV-22B Ospreys with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 166 get refueled before continuing a training exercise at the Grand Canyon, July 24. The Grand Canyon was the turning point during the exercise with VMM-166.

Photo by Cpl. Michael Thorn

MV-22B Ospreys fly over various terrain for tactical-training

25 Jul 2014 | Cpl. Michael Thorn 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

Two MV-22B Ospreys from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 166 flew over multiple types of terrain for a tactical-training mission from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., July 24.

The flight included tactical-formation training and confined-area landing with the Ospreys. Tactical formation allows the pilots to practice maneuverability in the air, while the confined-area landing helps in preparing for situations such as troop or equipment extractions. This training also gave some crew chiefs the opportunity for further advancement in their job field.

“It’s my first tactical-formation flight with the unit,” said Lance Cpl. Manuel Zuniga, crew chief with VMM-166. “Now I can get my tactical-formation codes, which are needed to advance in my training as a crew chief.”

The Ospreys flew over mountains, deserts and water, giving the Marines a variety of situations to handle.

“The flight started here at Miramar, and then went all the way to the Grand Canyon,” said Capt. Russell K. Maben, Osprey pilot with VMM-166. “We followed the Colorado River coming back home to the air station.”

Everything ended successfully with the sun setting and the mission going according to plan.

“Flying over deserts, mountains and oceans, we like to call that a triathlon,” said Cpl. Evin Haines, a crew chief with VMM-166. “Today was a good flight. We met up with a few storms, but it was successful.”