Marines take flight in Ospreys

Ospreys above HMS Ocean's flight deck.

Ospreys above HMS Ocean's flight deck.

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Marines from 45 Commando have been getting a lift in an eye-catching aircraft thanks to their comrades in the US Marine Corps.

Ospreys from the USMC have taken up residence on the flightdeck of HMS Ocean for a series of US/UK exercises in the Mediterranean during which they will be transporting the men from RM Condor

An Osprey embarking HMS Ocean.

An Osprey embarking HMS Ocean.

For several weeks the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft will fly off the deck of HMS Ocean transporting US and Royal Marines from ship to shore as they conduct amphibious assault training in the Mediterranean.

Able to carry up to 24 personnel, the Osprey can travel further, faster and higher than helicopters meaning greater reach for the men of 45 Commando Royal Marines currently deployed on Cougar 15 the Royal Navy’s annual deployment of the UK’s high readiness maritime expeditionary force.

It is not the first time that Osprey have flown from Ocean as they used the landing platform as a ‘lily pad’ during NATO’s recent exercise Trident Juncture - prior to that the last landing onboard was over five years ago.

However this time round an Osprey detachment will be based on the Royal Navy flagship.

An Osprey on board HMS Ocean.

An Osprey on board HMS Ocean.

Commander Adie Baker, responsible for aviation operations in HMS Ocean said: “Having just taken over as Commander Air, it is terrific to have the opportunity to work with the Osprey so early in my tenure.

“While they have visited Ocean in the past, having them embarked for a few weeks for amphibious exercises is the next step in increasing our ability to operate more closely with our allies.”

Images courtesy of L(Phot) Des Wade, Royal Navy.

An Osprey with rotors stowed away onboard HMS Ocean.

An Osprey with rotors stowed away onboard HMS Ocean.