A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft landed on Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) helicopter destroyer Hyuga (DDH 181) for the first time June 14.
The landing aboard Hyuga was the culmination of extensive planning by Sailors and Marines from Commander, U.S. Third Fleet, Expeditionary Strike Group 3, I Marine Expeditionary Force, 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade and was one of a series of live training events during amphibious exercise Dawn Blitz.
The Sailors and Marines conducted familiarization training with Japanese crews in preparation of the landing, June 3-11. Aboard USS Boxer (LHA 4), Sailors mentored Japanese counterparts on heat shields used by ships for MV-22 landings.
"Anytime we do amphibious operations on ships we do a tremendous amount of training to make sure our pilots and aircrew are properly qualified," said Marine Corps Lt. Col. Brad Harms, Commanding Officer of Marine Medium Tilt-rotor Squadron 161 (VMM-161). "We do practice landings on simulated decks on the ground which allows us to practice landing profiles. We worked closely with our Japanese counterparts aboard Hyuga so they were familiar with our procedures."
The ability for the Osprey to land aboard a Japanese ship provides another opportunity for the U.S. and Japan to respond to crises to include natural disasters and protect collective maritime interests. After landing, the crew of the Osprey and the Hyuga demonstrated the utility of the MV-22 by showing towing procedures, lowering and raising the aircraft in the ship's elevator and loading and unloading of supplies.
"Landing on the ship was no different than landing on any other ship but the meaning behind it was pretty significant, and I'm proud to be a part of it," said Marine Corps Cpl. Matthew Sevilla, Crew Chief with VMM-161.
Hyuga is one of three JMSDF ships participating in exercise Dawn Blitz June 11-28. Exercises like Dawn Blitz provide the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy and Marine Corps.
Joint, interagency and international relationships strengthen U.S. Third Fleet's ability to respond to crises and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.