After scrutiny and training, the Marine Corps greenlights the return of MV-22 Ospreys to the skies, prioritising safety and mission readiness.

The MV-22 Ospreys, which are in development for the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, has been cleared for flight operations after a safety evaluation. This decision, made by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), comes after a period of grounding that began on December 6, 2023, following an Air Force CV-22 mishap.

While the tragedy of the CV-22 incident loomed large, the Marine Corps remained steadfast in its commitment to aircrew safety and readiness. Lieutenant General Bradford J. Gering, Deputy Commandant for Marine Corps Aviation, emphasised the Marine Corps’ focus on protecting its personnel.

“The Marine Corps has confidence in the Osprey, and we are laser-focused on the safety and mission readiness of our pilots and aircrew. We are flying the Osprey again because our airworthiness authority cleared it for flight because we trust our well-established operational risk management procedures, and most of all because we trust our professional pilots, aircrew and maintainers to safely get this combat-proven aircraft back into the fight.”

During the four-month grounding period, the Marine Corps intensified its efforts in aircrew development, utilising simulator training and academic endeavours to maintain readiness. Lieutenant Colonel Jason Laird, commanding officer of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265, highlighted the persistence of aircrew training despite the grounding.

“During the four-month grounding period, aircrew development persisted through simulator training and academic endeavours. Complex tactical simulations facilitated leadership skill development and enhanced readiness for combat missions.”

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The decision to resume MV-22 operations shows confidence in NAVAIR’s analysis and the engineering assessments, driving the return to flight. Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Eric M. Smith, emphasised the importance of maintaining momentum in operations and maintenance funding.

“To effectively balance crisis response and modernisation, we must articulate the importance of Operations and Maintenance funding of ground and aviation training, maintenance, safety, and readiness…”

With the MV-22 Ospreys back in action, the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing stands ready to fulfil its mission with enhanced safety measures.