Top brass have decided U.S. Marine Corps MV-22Bs will self-deploy to Iraq.
The corps commandant, Gen. James Conway, confirmed year-old news April 13 that the tilt-rotor would be sent into combat later this year. Marine Medium Tilt-Rotor Sqdn. 263 (VMM-263) is assigned to deploy with 10 Ospreys to Al Asad Air Base in Anbar province in September. While the Ospreys will be used for a variety of missions, top officers said its main one will be to take Marines into combat.
But the question remained how VMM-263 would get its 10 Ospreys from its base at MCAS New River, N.C. to Al Asad air base — on board an amphibious landing ship or on their own power. The answer, Marines officials now say, is that the MV-22s will fly the route with support from a KC-130 to showcase the aircraft’s self-deployment capabilities.