In a time-sensitive operation where every minute counts, humanitarian workers and military forces from around the world, including American Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and crews, are supporting the government and armed forces of the Philippines in a fight to save the lives of those who have been impacted by Typhoon Haiyan.
Aid such as clothing, food, water and medicine is arriving at remote areas stricken by the typhoon. At the request of the government of the Philippines the U.S. Pacific Command continues to send more support to the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
A total of six more VM-22B Ospreys with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 arrived in the Philippines at Clark Air Field, Nov. 15-16.
Fourteen Ospreys are now delivering food and water to the most isolated areas affected by the typhoon.
“The aircraft will really display how it is made for this part of the world when we fly south delivering the supplies out to the people and reaching those remote areas where people have not been able to receive supplies,” said Marine Corps Capt. Robert S. Swartz, an Osprey pilot with VMM-265 which is currently assigned to 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade’s aviation combat element, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
“We don’t need an airport to land, especially since all the damage the airports took down there,” Swartz said. “All we need is enough space like a soccer field, so there are definitely a number of those zones for us to reach the people.”
The Osprey is an ideal aircraft for this operation due to the capabilities it provides, according to Swartz.
With its vertical take-off and landing capabilities, he said, the Osprey can operate in austere environments. Its ability to convert quickly to fixed-wing configuration gives it greatly increased speed and range over traditional rotary-wing aircraft, substantially bolstering the ability to save lives and reduce suffering during the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions in the Philippines.
With more Ospreys in the air, Swartz added, more help will be arriving at those isolated locations.
By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jose Lujano
III Marine Expeditionary Force
Date: Nov 17, 2013