CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 226 reinforced (VMM-226) transferred authority of the Marine tiltrotor mission to VMM-364 (REIN) during a ceremony on April 1 at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.
The VMM provides critical support for multiple operations within Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa’s (CJTF-HOA) area of interest. Marine Corps aviation assets augment the East Africa Response Force, transporting and inserting ground forces wherever they are needed throughout the region in support of crisis response, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief operations.
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jami Shawley, commanding general of CJTF-HOA, presided over the transfer of authority ceremony.
“To the Marines of VMM-266 reinforced, I wish you the very best in your return to Marine Corps Air Station New River in North Carolina, and to your next chapter,” said Shawley. “Thank you again for your service to our Republic, and to our new Marines, I look forward to serving with you in the days to come.”
Shawley recognized the impactful work VMM-266 accomplished during their six-month deployment.
“‘Our Marines used their aviation assets for short-notice force deployments across often vast distances, and participated in monthly trainings, exercises, and drills to ensure your readiness and preparation would allow a response to a crisis in East Africa and beyond,” said Shawley. “You participated in numerous emergency deployment readiness exercises, enhancing our ability to respond to an embassy in need, and reassuring our interagency partners that they are not alone.”
Lt. Col. Jason Potter, the commander of VMM-266, expressed pride in the unit’s exceptional performance during their deployment.
“Through the course of our last six months, we have supported 87 named operations,” Potter said. “But to better state what we have done for the combatant commander and CJTF-HOA, the squadron, through the MV-22 and KC-130J teams, have moved over 1.5 million pounds of cargo to outstations all over the Horn of Africa.”
Lt. Col. John Miller, the commander of VMM-364 reinforced, out of Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, Calif., thanked VMM-266 for a comprehensive transition over the last couple of weeks.
“We look forward to building an unbreakable bond with the CJTF-HOA staff and continuing the mission as those before us have done,” said Miller. “Thank you, and now it's time to get to work.”