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Marine Medium Tilt-Rotor Squadron VMM-561

VMM-561 was first activated May 1968, though soon deactivated a year later during the beginning of the Vietnam War, where it was used as a training squadron. The squadron flew the Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw during the Vietnam War era. In December 2010, the squadron was reactivated as a MV-22B Ospreys unit aboard MCAS Miramar, where they earned the National Defense Service streamer for their 2011 deployment.

VMM-561, a newly created squadron that did not previously fly the CH-46E. During the squadron activation ceremony, 02 December 2010, VMM-561 became the third MV-22 "Osprey" squadron aboard the air station, and the 9th MV-22 Operational Squadron.

Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 561, the “Pale Horses,” deactivated during a ceremony aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., 06 July 2012. The ceremony included a performance by the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band and a speech to give thanks to Marines and families by Lt. Col. Warren J. Curry, the commanding officer of VMM-561.

Despite their honors and success, the downsize of the armed forces is one reason why squadrons are being deactivated. “Due to a mandate by congress, VMM-561 had to be cut.” said Sgt. Maj. Stacy N. Pruitt, squadron sergeant major and a Laurel, Miss., native. “The mandate cut two [MV-22B] squadrons total.”

VMM-561 will be reactivated aboard Marine Corps Air Station Futenma as Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 “Dragons.” VMM-265 will be the first MV-22B squadron in Okinawa, Japan.

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Page last modified: 23-02-2016 18:13:00 ZULU