An Osprey success story

AFSOC CV-22 Osprey

AFSOC CV-22 Osprey

The US Air Force Special Operations Command AFSOC has been operating its new CV-22 Osprey special operations tiltrotor aircraft since October 2008. You can own one of these legendary CV-22 Osprey special operations tiltrotor aircraft. Choose the poster, a framed art print, a 12-month 2009 calendar, or even a greeting card set. Find all your AFSOC CV-22 Osprey art gifts at http://www.cafepress.com/TEAMultimedia/838250The PatriArt Gallery. Or if you prefer the AFSOC CV-22 Osprey tee-shirt, beer stein, or other souvenir items, visit http://www.cafepress.com/TEAMultimedia/843205The Military Chest.

After a troubled history, the V-22 Osprey – half-helicopter, half-plane – has been ferrying troops and equipment across Iraq for just more than a year without a major incident.

Critics say the Osprey, which was designed to replace transport helicopters, lacks firepower for defense in heavy combat.

But pilots say the Osprey makes up for that in speed, which one of them says can take the plane “like a bat out of hell” to altitudes safe from small-arms fire.

Since arriving at the sprawling Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq, a dozen Ospreys have been ferrying troops and equipment at forward operating bases. One even took Barack Obama around during his tour of Iraq in the summer.

But on only a handful of occasions has the aircraft faced serious enemy fire.

Military officials say that is partly a result of the changing nature of the war in Iraq, as well as the advantages the high-flying Osprey.

Read the complete Osprey story in the Philadelphia Enquirer

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