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NEWS | Nov. 1, 2016

Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 Disembarks Bonhomme Richard

By Petty Officer 2nd Class Kyle Carlstrom USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) Public Affairs

EAST CHINA SEA (NNS) -- "The Flying Tigers" of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262, disembarked amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), Oct. 27-28 following a three-month deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

The Flying Tigers, assigned to 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), returned to their base of operations at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa, Japan. During the three-month deployment, VMM 262 provided transportation for the embarked Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

Key exercises during the deployment were the U.S.-only, unilateral exercise Valiant Shield 2016 (VS16) and the annual, U.S.-Philippine bilateral exercise Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 33.

"The mission of VMM 262, which includes the MV-22B Osprey and the CH-53 Sea Stallion, is that of assault support platforms," said Capt. Antonio Alvarado, a VMM 262 operations duty officer. "We carry troops, cargo, and equipment to the fight or wherever they're needed."

Alvarado said the crew's performance was top-notch and they hit all their goals for the deployment.

"We were extremely successful," said Alvarado. "We made all of our flight hours each month, and even went over a couple times due to providing additional support. All the time spent with the ground combat element (31st MEU) taught us a lot about what we can do for future deployments and exercises."

1st MAW, as the aviation combat element of III Marine Expeditionary Force, provides combat-ready, task-organized forces capable of conducting aviation operations. The operations are conducted in naval and expeditionary environments, and commands and controls aviation forces through the Tactical Air Command Center (TACC), in order to contribute to the accomplishment of the nation's security objectives as required by standing operational plans in the Pacific Command (PACOM) area of responsibility, engagement operations in support of Marine Forces Pacific, overseas contingency operations, and other operations as directed.

Bonhomme Richard is the flagship of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG). The Bonhomme Richard ESG consists of Bonhomme Richard, amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay (LPD 20), and amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42).
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