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MV-22B from VMM-268 prepares for MRF-D deployment

Marines MV-22B Osprey tiltrotors prepares for MRF-D in Australia
U.S. Marines with Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 268, Marine Aircraft Group 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, complete the staging of MV-22B Osprey in preparation for Marine Rotational Force Darwin (MRF-D) at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, April 16, 2024. MRF-D is a deployment held in Australia that enhances capabilities and readiness of both the United States Marine Corps and the Australian Defense Force and continues to help strengthen the alliance between the two nations. VMM-268 will serve as the Aviation Combat Element for the upcoming iteration of MRF-D. U.S. Marine Corps photo by 1st Lt. Isis Coty.
Story by 1st Lt. Hannah Venables, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing 

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION KANEOHE BAY – U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey tiltrotors from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 268, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), departed yesterday from Marine Corps Base Hawaii for Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in preparation for their upcoming deployment to the 13th annual iteration of Marine Rotational Force Darwin (MRF-D) in Australia.

Over the course of the next week, the aircraft will be transported from Hawaii to Darwin where the squadron will serve as the air combat element (ACE), completing the Marine Air Ground Task Force structure in Australia’s Northern Territory. During their time in Darwin, VMM-268 will engage in various exercises and training activities alongside the Australian Defence Force, providing valuable opportunities for increased flight time and exposure to diverse training environments.

“The Marines of VMM-268 have worked exceptionally hard the last few months to get their aircraft ready to move to Darwin,” said Col. William Heiken, the commanding officer of MAG-24. “Seeing the aircraft staged at Pearl Harbor today is a testament to their dedication and hard work. I have the utmost confidence in the MV-22B and in the Marines and Sailors of VMM-268. MAG-24 is very excited to get the aviation combat element forward deployed to join the 13th iteration of MRF-D.”

1st MAW has upheld its commitment to readiness, ensuring sustained preparedness to effectively accomplish its mission. The preparatory events leading up to MRF-D provide assurance to Indo-Pacific partners, affirming 1st MAW’s readiness, proficiency, and forward posture. As VMM-268 continues deployment preparations, they look forward to training alongside allies and partners.

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