The Marine Corps was in the hot seat during a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing this week that clearly took aim at the V-22 Osprey (USMC operates the MV-22 and USAF the CV-22). Committee chairman Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) skewered Osprey for performance and cost issues, and ended the session, saying, “It’s time to put the Osprey out of its misery and to put the taxpayers out of their misery.” (Towns wants to halt production.) Both the Marine Corps and Air Force have deployed their Ospreys, to Iraq and to Africa, respectively, and returned with high praise for the tilt-rotor aircraft. A recent Government Accountability Office report cited “sharply” rising costs, which it said has nearly tripled from original 1986 per unit estimates, and “unreliable component parts.” The GAO and other critics also claimed the aircraft will have operational limitations in the high-altitude, hot and cold extremes of Afghanistan—the Marine Corps expects to deploy some MV-22s there later this year. GAO contends that component problems led the marines to cannibalize Ospreys to keep those deployed flying and reports a mission availability rate in Iraq of an average 62 percent. Lt. Gen. George Trautman, deputy commandant for aviation, acknowledged that the Osprey “like other types of aircraft in the early operational phases of their life cycle” has its share of challenges, like “lower than desired reliability of some components.” USMC Lt. Col. Karsten Heckl, who commanded one of the MV-22 deployments and is a veteran CH-46 helicopter pilot, called some of the critical testimony “just blatantly inaccurate.” He asserted that he couldn’t understand criticism about mission limitations, saying, “I’m missing something, and I must have been asleep in Iraq for seven months; it does it all.” He noted that the Ospreys handled some missions that his “46 couldn’t have even done.” (For more on CV-22, read Finally, the Osprey)
Feb. 28, 2021
In commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, Air Force Magazine is posting daily recollections from the six-week war, which expelled Iraq from occupied Kuwait.
Feb. 26, 2021
Acting Secretary of the Air Force Roth, NORAD’s Gen. VanHerck, U.S. Space Command’s Gen. Dickinson, Spark Tank, and more from Day 3 of the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium.
Feb. 26, 2021
A crew chief and production superintendent from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., took home the 3D-printed trophy in the Department of the Air Force’s Spark Tank innovation contest for a simple idea he predicts could “solve a lot of issues across the aircraft community.” Master Sgt. Justin Bauer pitched his…
The first flight of the AGM-183A hypersonic missile will happen within a week, experts reported Feb. 26 at AFA's virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium. The Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon will fly soon after a failed attempt, which was apparently due to technical and procedural glitches not related to the missile's design.
Air Combat Command is trying to move forward with an experiment it hopes will pave the way for a larger overhaul of fighter pilot training, despite pandemic-era complications. The command is working through the contracting process for the resources it needs to test the “Reforge” idea, ACC boss Gen. Mark…
Feb. 26, 2021
Nearly 140 Air National Guard personnel from Texas and Kentucky have responded to parts of Texas that were devastated by Winter Storm Uri, ANG Director Lt. Gen. Michael A. Loh told reporters Feb. 26. The polar vortex ravaged Texas’ power grid and deprived many citizens of running water.
The head of Air Combat Command isn't sure the cost of operating the F-35 will hit the desired $25,000 per hour by 2025, and he's headed out to meetings to see what can be done to make it happen. He's also concerned that China will beat the U.S. to 6th-generation…
The Pentagon’s new Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military has 90 days to find ways to combat the problem within the ranks, and the group will consider all options to address an issue that has “shattered the dreams” of many service members who joined with optimism about…
Feb. 26, 2021
Air Education and Training Command has incorporated a focus on human performance optimization—which includes personal resilience, health, fitness, diet, and mental performance—into its Undergraduate Pilot Training 2.5 program, 19th Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Craig D. Wills said at the Air Force Association’s virtual Aerospace Warfare Symposium.