U.S. MV-22 Osprey and KC-130J aircraft based at Sigonella amid escalating crisis in Libya visit Malta

Last month, the U.S. transferred about 500 Marines from Moron airbase, Spain to Sigonella in Sicily to be ready for rapid deployment if any new attacks occurred in Libya.

Few days earlier, 15 people had been killed when a car bomb exploded outside a hospital in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi, where an attack to the U.S. consulate on Sept. 11, 2012 killed four people, including U.S. Ambassador Stevens.

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Since the consulate attack, Pentagon has faced criticism by those who said it should have been able to more quickly mobilise forces to thwart the attack.

In the aftermath of the attack, the U.S. moved Special Operations planes, helicopters and refueling aircraft in the Mediterranean region, many of those have since returned to their homebases.

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As happened before, during and after the Air War in Libya, Malta International Airport in Luqa, is often used by U.S. planes based at Naval Air Station Sigonella, for training activities (instrumental approach procedures, touch and gos, etc.).

On Jun. 4, a USMC MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and a KC-130 from Sigonella, performed a touch and go at Malta.

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Estelle Calleja was there and took the images used in this post.

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Image credit: Estelle Calleja

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About David Cenciotti 3710 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.