Mount Whitney Makes History
USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), the U.S. 6th Fleet flagship, made history today as the first amphibious command ship to have an MV-22B Osprey land on its flight deck, May 23, 2016.
The MV-22B and crew are part of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 (VMM-263), “The Thunder Chickens,” based out of Marine Corps Air Station, New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
The aircraft, “Thunder 00,” successfully executed four starboard and three port landings, and hot refueling before returning to Morón Air Base, Spain where they are deployed as the Air Combat Element of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force -Crisis Response – Africa.
Capt. Carlos A. Sardiello, commanding officer, USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) stated, "Today's Osprey landings enhance the afloat commander's agility, range, and responsiveness in moving people and equipment at sea and ashore in support of assigned missions across the 6th Fleet area of responsibility. We are very proud of our Sailors', civilian mariners', and Marines' milestone today, strengthening the Navy and Marine Corps team."
Michael Bardoutsos, MSC cargo officer, USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) further added, "The Osprey landing is a great example of the MSC and Navy coming together and adapting to the ever-changing operational requirements and technology that makes our nation's military so fluid."