Sometimes It’s Like A Nightmare Just Being Conway
We’ll know for sure imminently, but McClatchy reports Secretary Bob Gates’ full defense budget may cut purchases of the Marines’s V-22 Osprey aircraft — a kind of super-helicopter that can operate at long ranges – which the service absolutely adores. Here’s the Marine Commandant, Gen. James Conway, speaking at his most recent Pentagon briefing last week:
I can’t speak of success in Iraq without bragging a little about the MV-22 Osprey. Our third tiltrotor squadron just wrapped up successful combat operations in Iraq while we were still there. The squadrons performed as we expected. They did it without incident or fanfare and through every type of assault support mission required. The way it was able to shrink the battle space was especially impressive. One of my commanders in Iraq compared it — being able to turn Texas into a place the size of Rhode Island.
Conway spoke enthusiastically about moving the Osprey into Afghanistan to support combat operations. “In all probability we will retain an Osprey capability there for as long as we have Marines there,” he said. Will Gates really ask the Marines to buy fewer Ospreys? He didn’t announce that in his big program-cut rollout last month.