VMM-265 ‘Dragons’ join the 31st MEU
CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan – Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 replaced VMM-262 as the aviation combat element of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit Friday.
“Having VMM-265 reunited with the 31st MEU will benefit all of the Marines greatly,” said Sgt. Maj. Jim Lanham, sergeant major of the 31st MEU. “They have done great things with us in the past.”
VMM-265 has participated in many deployments, exercises and real-world operations with the 31st MEU, including supporting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts following a series of earthquakes in April 2016 in and around Kumamoto, Japan.
“I look forward to our Marines working together to tackle the challenges that are ahead,” said Lt. Col. Bryan G. Swenson, commanding officer of VMM-265. “We’re ready to offer the support the Marine Air-Ground Task Force needs.”
During the 31st MEU’s fall deployment, VMM-265 will participate in unit-level training to maintain mission readiness during a routine patrol in the Indo-Asia Pacific region with the USS Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group, to comprise the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group.
“This is a great opportunity for our Marines to train with other units and develop professional relationships with the 31st MEU,” said Sgt. Maj. Restituto D. Paz, sergeant major of VMM-265.
“We're all here for the same reason: to be the best crisis response force in the Western Pacific," said Col. Tye R. Wallace, commanding officer of the 31st MEU.
As the Marine Corps’ only continuously forward-deployed MAGTF, the 31st MEU provides a flexible force, ready to perform a wide range of military tasks, from limited combat to humanitarian assistance operations, throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, assists the Government of Japan in supporting those affected by recent earthquakes in Kumamoto, Japan, April 18, 2016. VMM-265 picked up supplies from Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Camp Takayubaru and delivered them to Hakusui Sports Park in the Kumamoto Prefecture. The long-standing relationship between Japan and the U.S. allows U.S. military forces in Japan to provide rapid, integrated support to the Japan Self-Defense Forces and civil relief efforts.