Watch CBS News

Fleet Week Kicks Off With Landing Of Osprey Aircraft For Earthquake Preparedness

(CBS SF) --  The U.S. Marines kicked off Fleet Week on Monday with a landing of an Osprey aircraft.

But there's a serious side to the spectacle. It's also an exercise to strengthen earthquake preparedness in the Bay Area.

The Marine Corps brought in an MV-22 Osprey to carry their medical shock trauma platoon -- a team of ER doctors and nurses equipped to setup an emergency room virtually anywhere in the world.

The Osprey is a tilt rotor aircraft that takes off like a helicopter and then flies like an airplane. It makes a lot of sense when you're trying to get patients to the hospital because it goes twice as fast and five times as far as any previous helicopter.

Once on the ground, the platoon can perform surgery and provide blood transfusions. It's a strategy tested on the battlefields of Afghanistan to get advanced medical care to the patient within the first so-called Golden Hour.

"The quicker you can stop the bleeding, the quicker you can get blood into the victim, the more likely there is to be success," said U.S. Navy Medical Corps Lt. Comm. Brian Dimmer.

Mayor Ed Lee specifically requested the Osprey for a Fleet Week demo on earthquake emergency response. After a big quake, there would mass causalities and the local hospitals would be overwhelmed.

The Osprey could land in between buildings and transport patients to other Bay Area hospitals.

"We can land it wherever we have to land it, so that's our job and that's what we do," said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Michael Holoman.

FLEET WEEK COVERAGE: Where & When To Watch


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.