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Second V-22 Squadron Sent In

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  • Second V-22 Squadron Sent In

    April 13, 2008: Troops from U.S. Marine Corps Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 returned home from a seven month tour in Iraq. The 200 marines and sailors operated twelve V-22s. That included the ten they brought with them, and two that arrived last month. The V22s will remain in Iraq, and the troops will be replaced by members of VMM-162.

    The Marines wanted combat experience for their new aircraft, and they got it. This enabled the marines to find out what the V-22 did best. As expected, the higher speed and cruising altitude of the V-22 was very useful. Moving troops to where they are needed, or getting badly wounded marines to a hospital, were things the V-22 excelled at, moving at twice the speed of the helicopters previously used. Cruising at a higher altitude (10,000 feet or more) than helicopters, and moving faster, gave the enemy much less opportunity to get off a shot, much less score a hit. The heavy use also revealed which parts were likely to wear out when, something you never really find out until you get the aircraft into a combat zone.

    The V22 is a complex piece of work, and this resulted in a lot of development delays. At the moment, the U.S. Department of Defense has approved the purchase of 141 V-22 aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps, and 26 for U.S. Air Force units operating with SOCOM (Special Operations Command). The plan involves buying up to 33 V-22s a year, from 2008 to 2013.

    The Marine MV-22s can carry 24 troops 700 kilometers (vertical take-off, level flight, landing, and return) at 400 kilometers an hour. The V-22 is replacing the CH-46E helicopter, which can carry 12 troops 350 kilometers at a speed of 200 kilometers an hour. The V-22 can carry a 10,000-pound external sling load 135 kilometers, while the CH-46E can carry 3,000 pounds only 90 kilometers.

    The U.S. Air Force component of SOCOM will use the V-22 to replace the current MH-53J special operations helicopters. Unlike the U.S. Marine Corps version, the SOCOM CV-22 will have lots more expensive electronics on board. This will help the MV-22 when traveling into hostile territory. The CV-22 also carries a terrain avoidance radar, an additional 900 gallons of fuel and more gadgets in general. The 25 ton CV-22 is a major improvement on the MH-53J, with three times the range, and a higher cruising speed (at 410 kilometers an hour, twice that of the helicopter). The CV-22 can travel about nearly a thousand kilometers, in any weather, and land or pick up 18 fully equipped commandoes. The SOCOM MV-22 won't ready for combat for another two years.

    The V-22 is the first application of the tilt-rotor technology to do active service. The air force is already working on improvements (to make the V22 more reliable and easier to maintain), but these won't be installed for another four years. The V-22 will give the marines and SOCOM a lot more capability, but, as it often the case, it will be a lot more expensive. The initial production models of the CV-22 will cost close to $100 million each. SOCOM insists on a high degree of reliability for its aircraft. Commando operations cannot tolerate too many mistakes without getting fatally derailed.

    The other services, and particularly SOCOM, have watched the marine experience with the V-22 in Iraq, with great interest. SOCOM was relieved to see that the V-22 stood up well to constant use in a combat environment. The only major surprise was the engines wearing out faster than expected. This may be a design problem, not an "Iraq and the desert" problem, and the engine manufacturer, Rolls-Royce, is working on it. Over a hundred V-22s have been delivered so far, and the engines of the V-22s in Iraq each have about 400 hours on them.

    http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/hta.../20080413.aspx

  • #2
    Second Osprey Squadron

    Wally,
    Which unit goes in to replace the Thunder Chickens?
    Semper Fidelis
    Joe


    Phu Bai tower:
    YW-11 for Phu Bai DASC-
    Remember, These are "A" models!
    YW-11 BuNo-151939
    '65 Model CH-46A

    Comment


    • #3
      Wally,
      Which unit goes in to replace the Thunder Chickens?
      VMM-162 replaces 263, then 266 will replace them.

      Comment


      • #4
        This...

        ...brings up a question.

        Are we looking at three squadrons with V22 aircraft or are we looking at one squadron in Iraq with 12 aircraft and two squadrons with no aircraft?
        /s/ray

        Raymond J. Norton
        1513 Bordeaux Place
        Norfolk, VA 23509-1313

        (757) 623-1644

        Comment


        • #5
          Three Squadrons of V-22's, all with A/C. Of which 12 A/C are in Iraq. When 261 ramps up there will be 4 MV-22 Squadrons at New River.

          The only 46 Squadrons left at New River are 264 and 365.

          K.D. Logue

          Comment


          • #6
            VMM's to the sandbox

            VMM-162 replaces 263, then 266 will replace them.
            That figures, since neither went to Viet Nam, I guess the should be among the first in Iraq.
            Semper Fidelis
            Joe


            Phu Bai tower:
            YW-11 for Phu Bai DASC-
            Remember, These are "A" models!
            YW-11 BuNo-151939
            '65 Model CH-46A

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Joe Reed View Post
              That figures, since neither went to Viet Nam, I guess the should be among the first in Iraq.
              162 was in RVN Jan-Jun 63, Jun-Oct 64 and Mar-May 65. 266 didn't activate until 1983.

              Comment


              • #8
                What the heck difference does it make if they went to Vietnam?

                I assure you that they have all been to Iraq on several tours and each Marine in the Squadrons was there longer than we were on our Vietnam tours.

                I was at HMM-264 this morning to weigh a 46.

                They are busy.

                K.D. Logue

                Comment


                • #9
                  RVN squadrons

                  Well, I was half right and the other half was wrong! K.D., it makes no difference at all. I was making a silly comment and was wrong on both counts. Imagine that...I made a mistake!
                  Semper Fidelis
                  Joe


                  Phu Bai tower:
                  YW-11 for Phu Bai DASC-
                  Remember, These are "A" models!
                  YW-11 BuNo-151939
                  '65 Model CH-46A

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you will kindly read the ODDS & ENDS -- Ask Our Members -- Which Squadrons When and Where-The Definitive List, you will also notice that HMM-263 was in the RVN and if I am not mistaken they returned in 1971 or 1972 to MCAS Quantico, VA.

                    I was a member of HMM-263 from 86-91.

                    Thanks
                    Harry Nelson

                    Comment

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