Ospreys Proving Mettle In Counter-IED, Medevac Missions

January 31st, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: Ospreys Proving Mettle In Counter-IED, Medevac Missions

Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
January 31, 2008
Pg. 4
The U.S. Marine Corps’ V-22 Osprey aircraft are helping thwart improvised explosive device (IED) attacks in Iraq, as well as rescuing casualties in record time, the service reports.
“While conducting an Aero Scout Mission, the MV-22 supported the largest interdiction of an enemy arms cache in Area of Operations Denver,” Marine Maj. Eric Dent said. “The interdiction eliminated several vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices and a large depot of explosives.”
The V-22 was vital to mission success, Dent said.
“The Aero Scout Mission, into an extended range area, would not have been possible if not for the MV-22’s enhanced capabilities,” he said.
The Osprey’s selling points include speed and range – it initially was meant for combat, search and rescue operations – and those attributes are paying off on other missions, the Marines say.
“In the casualty evacuation example, two MV-22s responded to a combat casualty call for evacuation over 85 nautical miles away,” Dent said. “The mission was successfully conducted within an hour – a feat no other platform could have accomplished.”
The Marines have taken some flak from analysts and Washington think tanks for relying on Osprey development to fulfill some of their aircraft needs. There was more consternation when the service decided to deploy the V-22s into Iraq last fall. But so far, the Marines say the aircraft has met or exceeded expectations.
The first Osprey squadron, Dent said, is fulfilling the full range of combat medium lift assault support mission requirements in Al Anbar province. This mission range includes raids, aero scouts, tactical inserts, Governance Support, Leadership Battlefield circulation, Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC), Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP), Ground Combat Element (GCE), Quick Reaction Force (QRF), general support, and battlefield transportation of troops and cargo (DAILY, Jan. 25).
“The speed, range and payload of the MV-22 Osprey enables the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) to provide greater and more effective combat support over larger distances in less time,” Dent said. “It is a transformational battlefield capability that will redefine aspects of MAGTF combined-arms operations. The MV-22 provides greater operational reach.”
Despite detractors’ concerns, Dent said, the aircraft has not only proved effective, but is also safe.
-- Michael Fabey