The U.S. Marine Corps has decided its MV-22 will go to its first combat assignment the old-fashioned way — on board a Navy ship.
Marine officials had been entertaining the idea of have 10 aircraft from Marine Medium Tilt-rotor Squadron 263 (VMM-263) self-deploy this month to Iraq’s Al Asad air base in Anbar province. As recently as late May, Marine officials said the Bell Helicopter/Boeing Ospreys would fly to Iraq on their own.
But a number of factors argued against that, including the heavy requirement for refueling and persistent concerns about the inability of the V-22’s ice-protection systems to actually protect the aircraft.
VMM-263’s aircraft are to ship out for Iraq on the amphibious assault ships USS Wasp this month and arrive at Al Asad in October.