Air Force accepts first combat configured CV-22 Osprey

  • Published
  • By Laura McGowan
  • Aeronautical Systems Center Public Affairs
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - Aeronautical Systems Center's commander, Lt. Gen. Jack Hudson, along with other senior Department of Defense leaders, was on hand to accept the keys from Bell Boeing for the first combat configured CV-22 Osprey during a ceremony March 1 at the Bell manufacturing facility in Amarillo, Texas.

"It's an honor to be here for this historic milestone in aviation history," said General Hudson. "When our nation chooses to deploy forces into combat, we do our best to send them well-equipped and well-trained."

The Air Force plans to purchase 50 CV-22s for long-range infiltration, exfiltration and re-supply of special operations forces in hostile or denied territory. The Osprey provides twice the speed, up to five times the range and significantly enhanced survivability over other conventional rotary wing platforms, and this is the first CV-22 built upon the Block B baseline configuration.

Every CV-22 to come before this was built for test or training, but from this aircraft onward, the Air Force Ospreys will be built for training and combat.

According to a spokesman with Naval Air Station Public Affairs at Patuxent River, Md., "There are missions waiting for the CV-22 today-in Afghanistan, in Iraq and in every part of the world where Special Operations teams are carrying out the most critical missions to support the Global War on Terrorism."

General Hudson said, "Our warfighters will be the benefactors of the this one-of-a-kind aircraft that combines speed, range, operational flexibility and survivability thanks to a truly 'purple' program-Air Force, Marines and Navy-all with different missions but the same core values.

"I look forward to handing the keys over to Lt. Col. Jim Cardoso, commanding officer of the 71st Special Operations Squadron at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.," he said.