MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP S.D. BUTLER, Japan – Four additional MV-22B Ospreys have deployed from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Japan, to support Operation Damayan, a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operation in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.
As of yesterday, 129,000 pounds of relief supplies had been distributed, and hundreds of displaced persons had been relocated to the Philippine capital of Manila, officials said.
The additional Ospreys, which bring the total to eight for this deployment, will assist the U.S. Marines and sailors from the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force’s 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade who already had deployed to provide a wide range of relief efforts. The Ospreys are assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor 262, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force.
The MV-22B provides a unique capability for this type of operation, officials noted, as its vertical takeoff and landing capabilities allow it to operate in austere environments. Its ability to convert quickly to fixed-wing configuration provides greatly increased speed and range over traditional rotary-wing aircraft, they added. The aircraft's range allows it to deploy four times the distance from Okinawa as traditional rotary wing aircraft without stopping to refuel.
"The MV-22B Osprey is the ideal aircraft for this situation. Its medium-lift capacity and ability to fly great distances are essential to support relief efforts of such a large scale area," said Marine Corps Lt. Col. Joseph Lee, executive officer of VMM 262. "The squadron was prepared for this operation and on their way to the Republic of the Philippines within 24 hours to begin assisting in the relief efforts."
Super Typhoon Haiyan has affected more than 4.2 million people across 36 provinces in the Philippines, according to the Philippine government's national disaster risk reduction and management council.
Since 1990, the U.S. government has responded to more than 40 disasters in the Philippines at the request of that country's government, ranging from volcanic eruptions, drought, and population displacement.