Night Mission

Tactical aircraft maintainers from the 801st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla., prepare to launch a CV-22 Osprey at Nellis AFB, Nev., in October. CV-22s are in high demand in Central Command and other operational theaters, but readiness remains a challenge. When CV-22s are deployed “and sustained by a responsive supply system, we generate a lot of flight hours,” Lt. Gen. James Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, said in September. The problem is that some components wear out faster than expected, holding down mission capable rates at only about 60 percent.