9 years, 7 months ago
We have known for about half a year that the Marine Corps intended to deploy the tilt-wing aircraft Osprey. Without any fanfare in the main stream media (who has covered the V-22 accidents with vigor), the first Osprey are on their way to the Anbar Province.
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — The first MV-22 Ospreys to make a combat deployment are on an amphibious assault ship heading for Iraq, according to a Marine Corps headquarters spokesman.
Ten Ospreys and roughly 200 leathernecks and sailors with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 flew out of Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., and landed aboard the Wasp on Monday, Maj. Eric Dent said.
He did not know where the Norfolk, Va.-based ship was when the Ospreys boarded. The ship was diverted from an international exercise in Panama on Sept. 5 to the Nicaraguan coast to assist with disaster-relief efforts in areas affected by Hurricane Felix.
VMM-263 is heading for Al Asad Air Base for a seven-month deployment; the Ospreys will provide tactical assault support for Marines and soldiers.
The Corps decided to deploy the tilt-rotors via ship, in part to allow the aircraft to do shipboard integration operations. Corps officials would not say where the Ospreys will leave the ship and move into Iraq.
“Due to operational security, we can’t discuss the specifics,