MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP S. D. BUTLER, Okinawa - Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 (HMM-262) was redesignated as Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 (VMM-262) during a ceremony today at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
HMM-262, which is assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force was originally activated Sept. 1, 1951 as Marine Helicopter Transport Squadron 262 (HMR-262) at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N. C. and redesignated to HMM-262 Feb. 1, 1962 when the unit began using the CH-46 helicopter.
“Since your activation nearly 62 years ago, on Sept. 1, 1951, you have served with distinction as a continuously forward deployed unit for over half of your existence,” said Brig. Gen. Steven R. Rudder, commanding general of 1st MAW, III MEF.
“With a long and proud history which includes combat operations in the Republic of Vietnam and Operation Iraqi Freedom, as well as humanitarian operations on the island of Kauai after Hurricane Iniki, tsunami disaster relief in the Republic of the Philippines, Indonesia, East Timor, and mainland Japan during support of Operations Tomodachi, you constantly demonstrated undaunted versatility. I have no doubt that you will continue this exceptional legacy with this new chapter in your history. I wish you all the best in this transition and expect nothing less than the continued operational excellence for which the tigers are known.”
The squadron was redesignated today as VMM-262 to reflect the MV-22B Osprey as the squadron’s primary airframe.
The U.S. Marine Corps on Okinawa is replacing CH-46E helicopters with MV-22B Osprey aircraft on a one-for one basis. The Osprey is able to fly twice as fast, carry three times the payload and has four times the range of the CH-46E helicopters.
Basing the Osprey in Okinawa significantly strengthens the United States’ ability to provide for the defense of Japan, perform humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, and fulfill other alliance roles.
“As our country and Corps shifts its strategic focus back to the Pacific region, I take great pride in knowing that the tigers will continue to be at the forefront of 1st Marine Aircraft Wing's response capability.”