Maj. Adam Geitner, F-35 detachment aircraft maintenance officer with the Marine Operational Test & Evaluation Squadron 22, said in a report published Friday the test was meant to validate ground refueling functionality in support of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force.
Fuel transfer lines were connected to the two aircraft during the test for the Osprey to refuel the F-35B for an hour and verify the equipment and procedures, Edwards AFB reported.
“From a tactical point of view, the MV-22 to F-35 ground refueling allows the Marine Corps to employ assets in austere environments on a short notice without having to rely on long-term planning and fixed facilities,” said Geitner.
He noted that the team next plans to test air-to-air refueling between the two aircraft, which is part of the MAGTF operational construct alongside ground refueling.
“This is even more significant for the MAGTF when operating F-35s from [amphibious assault ships] because it provides organic air-to-air refueling capability that vastly extends the range of the aircraft and also provides operational flexibility,” he added.
The F-35B is the short-takeoff/vertical-landing variant of the F-35 aircraft designed for Marine Corps stealth missions.
MV-22 is a variant of the V-22 joint service multirole combat aircraft.