Osprey Off to War

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway told Pentagon reporters Friday that the MV-22 Osprey would begin serving in Iraq in September. Conway was not ready last month to give a date, but he clearly was chomping at the bit. The Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation, Lt. Gen. John Castellaw, said the Corps had been through “a very deliberate process to ensure that operationally, logistically that the squadron [VMM-263] and aircraft is ready to deploy.” He went on to say that the MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft “goes twice as fast … three times as far …and it is the most survivable—about six or seven times—of … the aircraft that it replaces”—the nearly 40-year-old CH-46 helicopter.