Marines Osprey Training Squadron 'Aims High' With Air Force
Beneath Its Wings
In a re-activation ceremony held inside the joint Marine
Tiltrotor Test and Evaluation Squadron-22 and Marine Medium
Tiltrotor Training Squadron-204 hangar Dec. 2, Air Force Detachment
1, 58th Operations Group, was reborn.
Air Force Col. Paul R. Harmon, commanding officer of the 58th
Operations Group, unfurled the detachment's colors, signifying the
re-establishment of Det 1 at New River.
"This is my first time activating a detachment on a Marine Corps
installation," added Harmon, from Queens, NY "It's a great
opportunity for the Air Force to see how the Marines do
The detachment was re-activated in support of the VMMT-204
mission to train pilots, both Marines and Airmen, who are
participating in the Osprey program. Six Airmen, including the new
commanding officer of Det 1, Lt. Col. Darrin M. Valha, four pilots
and one administrative specialist, make up the permanent
Its initial activation occurred in the late 1990's with the
arrival of the Osprey. The detachment was subsequently de-activated
after the re-evaluation of the V-22 program.
"We're going to be part of the instructor force, training Air
Force and Marine Corps pilots to fly the V-22 Osprey," said Valha,
who calls Olympia, Wash., home. "It will be interesting for Marine
pilots to have an Air Force instructor and vice versa."
Detachment 1 is part of the 58th Operations Group based at
Kirtland Air Force Base, NM. New River can expect to see more Air
Force personnel receiving assignments here during the next year,
with one or two trickling in each month. September 2006 is the
approximate timeframe for the Air Force to be completely integrated
into the Osprey program, explained Harmon.
"The key point that's going to make this a successful program is
introducing the Air Force culture to the Marine Corps culture and
broadening our understanding," he concluded.
(ANN salutes Sgt. Christine Odom, USAF)