The U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 (VMM-262) departed from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni to MCAS Futenma on Dec. 20, 2017.
VMM-262 began training out of MCAS Iwakuni, Dec. 9, 2017, as the aviation combat element for exercise Forest Light.
During their stay, air station assets such as fuels, air operations, weather, air traffic control and Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 152 supported the squadron.
“The Iwakuni support crew was really important for us,” said Capt. Austin Stobaugh, the director of safety and standardization for VMM-262. “They were great Marines to work with. They enabled us to be successful, and we are very thankful as a squadron.”
VMM-262 trained in the mountainous terrain and cold weather with the ground combat element, which included U.S. Marines from 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force soldiers.
“Forest Light was an opportunity for us to work with the Japanese and our Marine counterparts in infantry units, and to provide them the aviation assets required to train for the next fight,” said Maj. Ian Learmonth, the operations officer with VMM-262. “Being able to do that with MV-22’s in Japan is a fantastic opportunity for us to build a team between the Japanese and Americans. One thing that they were really interested in was just getting on the aircraft, seeing personnel in the back and understanding the airspace limitations. The best thing that they took from this training was understanding what we bring to the fight and what we can provide them with as far as Osprey and Marine aviation capabilities.”
MCAS Iwakuni is a mission-ready air station, capable of providing support to visiting organizations such as VMM-262 during training, combat, and contingency missions conducted by U.S. and allied forces, ultimately working toward providing safety and security to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
Lance Cpl. Andrew Jones / Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni