V-22 Osprey To Replace Sea Knight
"It's amazing!" were the first words spoken by Lance Cpl. Junior
M. Bazile, a Marine Air-Ground Task Force planner for II Marine
Expeditionary Force, after he took his initial flight in the V-22
Osprey Tilt Rotor Aircraft.
Several days ago, more than two-dozen Marines from II MEF
received this unique opportunity to see what kind of capabilities
the Osprey has. Two sticks of Marines, from Colonel to Lance
Corporal, took the half-hour long flight around the base in both
helicopter and tilt rotor mode to get the full effect of the plane.
The majority of those Marines were very impressed overall.
"It was very exciting," said Gunnery Sgt. Keith L. Enoch,
operations chief for II MEF G-1. "The ride was very smooth and it
has lots of speed."
"I wasn't expecting much, just another helicopter, but it's
wild. I never knew helicopters could go that fast," said
The Osprey rides were also aimed toward getting the Marines
familiar with riding in the aircraft since it will be eventually
replacing the CH-46 Sea Knight Helicopter.
"I think it's a good promotion to show that it's a great
aircraft and to help with rumor control," said Navy Lt. Christina
M. Matos, a Marine Expeditionary Unit action officer, II MEF
The V-22 Osprey in which the Marines flew has been redesigned to
address problems experienced in the past.
"Everybody is looking forward to the switch. I think it's a smart
move," continued Matos.
Pilots and crewmembers from Marine Tiltrotor Test and Evaluation
Squadron-22 (VMX-22), based at Marine Corps Air Station New River,
provided the aircraft to give the Marines an up close look at the
"The purpose of being here today is the reintroduction of the
V-22 to the fleet and to get the Marines comfortable with the
aircraft and it's abilities," said Maj. Rob A. Freeland, assistant
operations officer, VMX-22. "The Marines were excited about it's
capability. They wanted to get back in and go again."
Freeland was very impressed as well with the feedback he received
about the flights.
"We are walking away today with the Marines feeling comfortable,
despite the rumors," said Freeland.
Freeland said VMX-22 will also provide Osprey rides for 2d Marine
Division and 2nd Force Service Support Group in the upcoming
(ANN salutes Cpl. Lana D. Waters, U.S.
Marine Corps Combat Correspondent, II Marine Expeditionary Force