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July 1, 2013

USAF expands aircraft fleet with two CV-22B Osprey

The US Air Force Special Operations Command's 352nd Special Operations Group has added two new CV-22B Osprey multi-mission aircraft to its fleet.

V-22 Osprey

The US Air Force Special Operations Command’s (AFSOC) 352nd Special Operations Group (SOG) has added two new CV-22B Osprey multi-mission aircraft to its fleet.

The aircraft form part of the 352nd SOG expansion, which include the addition of ten Ospreys by the end of 2014.

Replacing the MH-53 Pave Low helicopter, the CV-22 aircraft not only has the vertical takeoff, hover and vertical-landing qualities of a helicopter, but also has the long-range, fuel-efficiency and speed qualities of turboprop aircraft.

In addition, the aircraft is silent in airplane mode, allowing it to operate easily in hostile territory.

"The arrival of the new aircraft is the next chapter in a 70-year historical relationship the US and the UK share."

The addition of CV-22B to the 7th Special Operations Squadron (SOS), a component of the 352nd SOG, enables the unit to quickly handle operations across greater distances.

7th SOS operations director lieutenant colonel Chris Goodyear said the CV-22 allows personnel to access places that usually would be unable to with a fixed wing aircraft.

"The unique thing about the CV-22, unlike our rotary wing partners, is it has the speed of a fixed wing platform," he added.

"So you kind of get the blend of the best of both worlds. You have the speed of a fixed wing, and you have the vertical lift capability of a helicopter."

352nd SOG commander colonel Christopher Ireland said: "The arrival of the new aircraft is the next chapter in a 70-year historical relationship the US and the UK share."

Primarily responsible for night, adverse-weather, long-range insertion, extraction and resupply operations, the 7th SOS also supports non-combatant evacuation and humanitarian relief missions.

Manufactured by Bell Boeing, V-22 Osprey is a tiltrotor aircraft designed to help special operations forces during long-range infiltration, exfiltration and resupply operations.


Image: Two CV-22B Ospreys taxi to their new home at RAF Mildenhall in England. Photo: US Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Stephen Linch.

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