Monday, May 07, 2007

Airmen will fly on 1st Iraq tour of Osprey

The Pentagon has ordered 458 of the $70 million craft, most of which will go the Marines Corps. The 50 destined for the Air Force will cost $89 million each because of enhanced electronic combat features.

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — When the Marine Corps deploys its MV-22 to Iraq in September, it’ll take along two guests — a pilot and a maintainer from the Air Force’s new special operations Osprey squadron.

The deployment of the MV-22 tilt-rotor Osprey, with its promising future and troubled past, will mark the aircraft’s first real-world mission, and the Air Force will be watching closely.

“We’ll be there with them on day one and learn the same lessons they learn,” said Lt. Gen. Michael Wooley, commanding general of Air Force Special Operations Command, whose first two CV-22 Ospreys are scheduled to reach initial operating capability in January 2009 and deploy to the war zone.

Read the rest at Air Force Times

Related Link:
Commandant Conway: Marines will deploy Osprey to Iraq in September

Related Link:
U.S. to fly controversial Osprey in combat