A UC-35D wings along over the North Carolina countryside during a maintenance flight in March 2011. The UC-35 is one of several aircraft operated by Marine Transport Squadron 1 in recent years in support of its worldwide transport missions. In late December 2017, VMR-1 will transfer from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., to its new base of operations in Fort Worth, Texas, under the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing. The squadron turned its UC-35 transport mission over to Cherry Point's Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron in November 2017.
Marine Corps operational support airlift (OSA) provides an economical and efficient alternative for the movement of personnel and cargo by reducing the burden that small payloads place on large tactical aircraft. Moving high volumes of small payloads to the widely-dispersed Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF) elements poses challenges for Marine Corps aviation; OSA relieves this burden.
Marine Corps OSA units perform the same airlift missions whether deployed or at their home stations. Unpredictable, short notice movements are not usually compatible with the United States Transportation Command’s and United States Air Force’s airlift missions or commercial route structures. This flexibility is vital to MAGTF logistics, communications and security in all phases of deployment.
OSA aircraft make significant contributions in airlift support while operating at a fraction of the cost of tactical assault support assets. Two aircraft remain forward deployed in support of SPMAGTF requirements.
The mission of Marine Corps OSA is to provide Marine Corps forces and MAGTFs with time-sensitive air transport of high priority passengers and cargo and other critical air logistic support between and within a theater of war, and to otherwise support Marines as directed.
Marine Corps OSA currently operates 26 commercial derivative aircraft in 10 locations CONUS/
In accordance with the OSA Master Plan (MROC DM 57-2010), the Marine Corps is in the process of completing the transition on 2 TMSs. Additional funding is required for the following:
The Marine Corps is 60% complete with the UC- 12W transition with four FOC squadrons in the fleet. Okinawa, Iwakuni, Miramar and Belle Chasse are complete with the transition, leaving Beaufort, New River and Yuma to complete. VMR-1 relocated to Fort Worth, TX in 4th QTR of FY17.
Recently the Marine Corps has: Divested of the (2) C-9B aircraft Moved VMR-1 (Flag) to Fort Worth Accelerated procurement of C-40A; timeline is TBD
UC-12 Beechcraft, Wichita, Kansas
UC-35 Cessna, Wichita, Kansas
C-20 Gulfstream, Savannah, Georgia