'Thunder Chickens' gives 8th Comm. wings
By Lance Cpl. Manuel Estrada
| Marine Corps Air Station New River | January 30, 2013
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. (Jan. 23, 2013) --
Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 transported more than 30 Marines from 8th Communication Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Jan. 23, as part of a troop movement exercise.
The Marines from VMM-263 launched from Maine Corps Air Station New River in two MV-22B Ospreys and rendezvoused with the communication Marines on Camp Lejeune.
The Marines loaded up and strapped into the Ospreys, some for the first time.
They anxiously awaited the launch, as the crew chief gave a quick safety brief before the engines sped up and the Ospreys took off into the sky.
Other 8th Comm. Marines in the landing zone watched as the Osprey landed in the field like a helicopter dropping the passengers and taking off again, before flying into the distance.
The purpose of the troop insertion was to familiarize VMM-263 Marines with takeoff and landing procedures, and moving troops from one place to another safely and in a timely manner.
“We do a lot of training here around New River so we are able to lift Marines in a combat environment and take them to a mission,” said Capt. Gregory Varella, VMM-263 Osprey pilot. “It also helps familiarize the ground units with the Osprey so they can become comfortable dealing with us.”
The integration of VMM-263 and 8th Comm. Marines allowed them to experience joint training and accomplish a single mission as a team.
“On our side the flight went very well; I think they learned a lot,” said Sgt. Nickolas Tissandier, VMM-263 Osprey crew chief. “It is easier to pick up people here in continental United States and have them learn and get used to the aircraft here than overseas. Overseas, they are already in the ‘been there done that’ kind of mentality. Plus it gives us some good training.”