ABOARD USS BATAAN – The 22nd
Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) made his-
tory 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 Batann (LHD 5) June
25, 2009.
This is the fi rst 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 mis-
sion when the pilots were notifi ed of an emer-
gency 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 fl ight deck. The aircraft trav-
elled 147 nautical miles in 37 minutes to a re-
gional airport where an ambulance was used
to transfer the Sailor to a hospital for further
treatment.
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 Com-
mand area awaiting further transfer.
“Everybody from the ship made this very
easy for us,” said Maj. Brett A. Hart, assistant
operations offi cer for VMM 263 and one of
the pilots on the mission. “It was an all-hands
effort and everybody gave their utmost to en-
sure the safety of this Sailor.”
Hart, who has had experience in conduct-
ing 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 was executed.
“By virtue of having this aircraft, we were
able to do it much faster and farther,” he said.
“This is a fi ne example of why we have an air-
craft like this.”
The 22nd MEU deployed May 15, 2009,
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
multi-purpose force of more than 2,200 Ma-
rines 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.