It wasn’t long ago that the V-22 Osprey program seemed to be mired by constant criticized. A 2012 reportin Wired’s Danger Room by David Axe called it “an aircraft with a reputation for falling from the sky.”
That report detailed a series of mishaps that caused injury and millions of dollars in damage, as well as the fraught development of the V-22, a tilt-rotor aircraft that can land and takeoff like a helicopter, and then fly forward like a propeller-driven airplane.
“Between 1991 and 2000, four V-22s were destroyed during test flights. Thirty people died as a result, turning the Osprey from the Pentagon’s most revolutionary warplane into the most controversial aircraft in the Defense Department arsenal,” Axe writes.
Now, half a decade after Axe’s story, the Osprey is an important asset used aggressively and successfully by three branches of the U.S. military: the Marines, the Navy, and the Air Force. The Army is now considering adopting the Osprey for medical evacuations, according toa recent piece by Loren Thompson in Forbes.
In fact, Thompson’s calling the V-22 the most successful combat system produced since 9/11. “This is remarkable progress for a program that was so controversial when it first began flying that Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney tried to kill it every year he held the job,” Thompson writes.
An MV-22 Osprey aircraft from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 (Reinforced) lands on the deck of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6)U.S. Navy photo
A V-22 Osprey carried Osama bin Laden to his final resting place, landing on the USS Carl Vinson for the al Qaeda leader’s ocean grave in May 2011.
“Since it became operational with the Marines in 2007 and the Air Force in 2009, V-22 has proven its value and versatility over and over again, in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Kuwait, and across much of North Africa,” Thompson writes.
Very few airframes have ever been adopted by all four branches of the military. If the V-22 joins its ranks, its status will be cemented as one of the defining and most revolutionary military technologies of the post 9/11 era.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard called the ongoing partial government shutdown "unacceptable" following reports that some Coast Guardsmen are relying on donations from food pantries while their regular paychecks remain on hold.
"We're five-plus weeks into the anxiety and stress of this government lapse and your non-pay," Adm. Karl Schultz said in a video message to service members. "You, as members of the armed forces, should not be expected to shoulder this burden."
The bigger and faster electromagnetic weapons elevator on the new
aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford is finally ready for use, an achievement the Navy called a "major milestone" for the program and other Ford-class carriers to be built in the future.
Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer said earlier this month that he had bet his job on getting all the Ford's elevators to work, telling President Donald Trump that the project would be done by this summer "or you can fire me."
Airman 1st Class Isaiah Edwards has been sentenced to 35 years in prison after a military jury found him guilty of murder in connection with the death of a fellow airman in Guam, Air Force officials announced on Tuesday.