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MV-22B Osprey aircraft rumble into RAAF Base Darwin

US Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268 (Reinforced), Marine Rotational Force – Darwin 24.3, take off for the first flight of the MRF-D 24.3 rotation at Port Darwin, Darwin, NT, Australia, 11 May 2024. Photo: US Marine Corps/1st Lt. Colton Martin

MV-22B Ospreys, the famed tilt-rotor aircraft of the US Marine Corps, have rumbled over Port Darwin and arrived at Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin.

MV-22B Ospreys, the famed tilt-rotor aircraft of the US Marine Corps, have rumbled over Port Darwin and arrived at Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin.

Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268 (Reinforced) (VMM-268 (Rein.)) has officially arrived as the Aviation Combat Element of Marine Rotational Force – Darwin 24.3 (MRF-D) Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF), finalising the formation of the 13th rotation of MRF-D on 11 May this year.

MV-22B Osprey aircraft have previously made headlines in August last year when one, carrying 23 service members, went down near the Tiwi Islands in the Northern Territory of Australia during a training exercise.


The arrival represents a steadfast commitment of the Marines and sailors of VMM-268 and the wider US Marine Corps to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region through MRF-D.

“The arrival of the Ospreys to Darwin brings together the full capabilities of the MAGTF and amplifies our interoperability opportunities with the Australian Defence Force,” said US Marine Corps Colonel Brian T. Mulvihill, the commanding officer of MRF-D 24.3.

“As a MAGTF, the Ospreys give us an over-the-horizon capability that, alongside our Australian allies, enhances security in the region.”

VMM-268 (Rein.) dedicated itself to maintaining the readiness and morale of the Osprey community. Through town halls, leadership engagements, and direct interactions with squadron personnel, they ensured that every Marine remained informed and confident in their abilities, equipment, and the aircraft.

“I have the utmost confidence in the reliability of the aircrafts and the capabilities of our pilots and crews,” Mulvihill said.

“The well-being of our Marines and sailors is always a priority, and we have spared no effort in ensuring that they are prepared for the missions ahead.”

Marines and sailors with VMM-268 (Rein.) underwent rigorous training, utilising simulators and conducting maintenance activities to enhance aircraft material readiness and pilot skillsets.

“The Marines and sailors of VMM-268 (Rein.) have invested months of hard work and training preparing for this deployment in support of the MRF-D MAGTF,” said US Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Brandon S. Pope, the commanding officer of VMM-268 (Rein.).

MV-22B Osprey multi-mission aircraft serve as the backbone of MRF-D’s air support capabilities. Its deployment underscores the importance of MRF-D 24.3 in facilitating rapid response and enhancing regional security efforts.

“While the Ospreys are the visible front of the ACE capabilities, the true strength lies in the resiliency of the individual Marines who tirelessly work to ensure we are ready to support the mission alongside the Australian Defence Force,” Pope said.

As the Marines of VMM-268 (Rein.) integrate into the operational tempo of MRF-D 24.3, they do so with a sense of purpose and determination, knowing that their efforts contribute to a safer and more secure Indo-Pacific region.

“We are honoured to return to Darwin for this rotation to work alongside our allies and partners, building the relationships critical to a free and secure Indo-pacific,” Pope said.

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