V-22s May Go To Iraq

January 18th, 2007  
Team Infidel

Topic: V-22s May Go To Iraq

Dallas Morning News
January 18, 2007
In sign of plans, Marines familiarize soldiers with tilt-rotor
By Richard Whittle, Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News
WASHINGTON The Marine Corps recently sent two V-22 Ospreys to Fort Stewart, Ga., to give familiarization rides to Army soldiers going to Iraq.
It was the strongest sign yet that the much maligned, Texas-built tilt-rotor troop transport is headed to Iraq for its first combat duty.
"Although the Marines aren't publicizing the fact, they plan to deploy V-22s in Iraq this year," said Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute, a think tank with close ties to the defense industry and top military leaders.
Built by Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. of Fort Worth in partnership with Boeing Co., the Osprey is a hybrid that tilts two giant wingtip rotors upward to fly like a helicopter and forward to fly like an airplane. The unique capability allows it to fly as fast and far as a turboprop plane but to take off and land with the agility of a far slower helicopter.
About 2,500 people at Bell's plants in Fort Worth and Amarillo work on the Osprey.
Two V-22 crashes killed 23 Marines six years ago, leading critics to call for scrapping it. The Marines redesigned and retested it instead. The Osprey's first combat deployment is expected to be a major event in the debate between critics who say it is unsafe and the Marines, who say its foes are relying on outdated information and flawed analysis.
Marine leaders have said previously that sending the V-22 to Iraq was a possibility, but they also have discussed deploying the Osprey to the Horn of Africa and elsewhere.
Capt. Stuart Fugler, a spokesman for Marine Corps Air Station in New River, N.C., where the Osprey is based, said the corps still hasn't officially announced where the V-22 will go into combat for the first time, but he suggested Iraq is the answer.
The 100 soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division who rode in the Osprey during the Jan. 9 training exercise at Fort Stewart are among Army units headed to the treacherous Al Anbar province of western Iraq, where they will be attached to Marine units.
Marine commanders "thought that this training was valuable since 3rd ID, these soldiers, are actually going to roll out into combat here soon," Capt. Fugler said. "In case these soldiers actually were going to have to use or work with the Osprey, they wanted to do that orientation flight for them."
Two Ospreys from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263, the unit scheduled to fly the V-22 into combat this year, left New River about 10 a.m. Jan. 9 and flew the 360 miles to Fort Stewart in an hour and 15 minutes, fighting a strong headwind, said Capt. Danny Cohlmeyer, a pilot with the squadron. The return flight took an hour, he said.
At Fort Stewart, five "sticks" of 20 soldiers at a time four fewer troops than can fit on an Osprey were shown how to board and strap in. They then got a flight consisting of a vertical takeoff, conversion to "airplane mode" to circle the area and a reconversion to helicopter mode to land on a concrete helicopter pad, Capt. Cohlmeyer said.
Army Maj. Robert Pettit of the 3rd Infantry's 1st Brigade said in an e-mail thanking the Marines that "everything worked smooth as silk."
Capt. Cohlmeyer said the Jan. 9 event was the first of several such exercises planned with ground troops who potentially could ride Ospreys in combat. Ospreys may go back to Fort Stewart to give more soldiers rides three or four times by the end of February, and similar flights for Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C., are planned, he said.
January 23rd, 2007  
and it may get shot down while flying... LoL
January 27th, 2007  
They are definitely heading out soon much to the chagrin of many that are familiar with the bird's severe limitations.
January 27th, 2007  
I thought this contraption had been canned years ago because they keep going tits up.

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