Lance Cpl. Shawn E. Carvin, wireman, Communications Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 15, 1st Marine Logistics Group, practices programing during a class on radio programing aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Feb. 12, 2014. The class was part of a two-week line training exercise, a series of hands-on instruction on communications systems in preparation for the unit’s upcoming Combat Operations Center exercise. (Photo by Cpl. Timothy Childers)http://www.1stmlg.marines.mil/News/NewsArticleDisplay/tabid/8628/Article/158988/1st-mlg-conducts-communications-training.aspx

WASHINGTON: When Americans were threatened during the civil war in South Sudan, Marine Corps MV-22 Ospreys flew a Marine response force from Spain to Djibouti in a non-stop flight of 3,200 nautical miles – the distance from Alaska to Florida. That’s an extraordinary feat for an aircraft that can take off and land vertically like a helicopter.

But “when they got out of that airplane, it was just like they were flying in a Vietnam CH-46 [helicopter],” Brig. Gen. Matthew G. Glavy, the Marine’s assistant deputy commandant for aviation, said during a presentation at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Why? Because the crew had no access to the computer networks that the modern US military uses to share intelligence and plan operations. While chatter on a radio can provide a basic update, you need bandwidth to get detailed data on a rapidly changing situation on the ground. A recent experiment put working WiFi in the back of a V-22, but that’s just the first step towards what’s possible.

“As V-22s come into a landing zone and take fire – [picking up] ‘hostile fire indications’ – we have systems that can detect that. [But] those systems talk to nothing,” Glavy said. “What if those systems talked to each other and maybe talked to the raid force commander….so he has fresh data, not information but knowledge, on where the enemy is and what they’re doing?”

Replacing old aircraft with better ones is a major improvement, but it’s additive. “One plus one equals two,” Glavy said. Network those systems and that “is where one plus one equals 22.”

“The guys at Pax River” – home base for Marine Corps and Navy test pilots – “don’t like this conversation,” said Glavy, a CH-46 pilot himself. But Glavy’s boss, Deputy Commandant for Aviation Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle has been pushing hard, Glavy said. “Let me tell you,” he said with a  chuckle, “the knuckle-dragging -46 pilot is being dragged along.”

Nor is this emphasis on networks a passing fancy likely to get lost in the shuffle of new commanders – Schmidle is moving on to the Pentagon’s Cost Analysis and Program Evaluation (CAPE) office – or shrinking budgets. To the contrary: “Distributed” operations by widely dispersed, rapidly maneuvering small units, coordinated over robust communications networks, is central to the Marine Corps’ new concept of future operations, released just last month, called Expeditionary Force 21.

Lance Cpl. Erica Rindal a digital multi channel wide band transmission equipment operator, Marine Wing Communications Squadron 18, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Air Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, checks the frequencies after sweeping the air for a better signal on the tactical elevated antenna mast system at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base Feb. 12 during Exercise Cobra Gold 2011. Cobra Gold 2011 is a regularly scheduled multinational joint training exercise designed to improve international relationships within the south Pacific region. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. J Nava/Released)::r::::n:: (Photo by Cpl. J Nava)http://www.iiimef.marines.mil/News/NewsArticleDisplay/tabid/967/Article/14039/marine-wing-communications-squadron-18-keeps-marine-aircraft-group-36-connected.aspx

A young Marine works on a digital radio.

Old-fashioned procurement & new-wave adversaries

The two-pronged problem is how to build the battlefield networks so that they can survive sequestration, rapid technological change, and the high-threat environments envisioned in Expeditionary Force 21.

“It’s all about waveforms and networks,” Glavy said. “We’re spending a lot of time and energy [on] the ability to have multi-waveform, multi-channel interconnectivity with the MAGTF [Marine Air-Ground Task-Force].” But the Marines can’t run their network programs as they have done in the past, he warned.

“The classic Marine Corps way to do this is set a standard,” Glavy said. “[For example], ‘variable Message Format will be the standard!’ We tried to do that four years ago. It was a terrible failure, because everything’s changing, changing so quickly.”

The issue is primarily the proliferation of different “waveforms,” the various protocols that modern digital radios use to share information. “All these waveforms…there’re so many out there that it’s so hard to say, ‘this will be the standard,’” Gavy said. “We’d love to buy Link-16 for all my friends,” he added, referring to the NATO standard for secure datalinks, but, cost aside, such an investment would commit the service to a single standard while technology evolved past it.

So the Marines’ new approach, said Glavy, is “can’t beat ’em, join ’em”: Instead of one standard for once and for all, what’s needed is a “Rosetta Stone gateway capability” that can translate quickly from one waveform to another. Yes, he admitted, translating everything requires more processing power than sticking with a single standard, but Moore’s Law means processing power gets cheaper all the time. “If you can do this [waveform-to-waveform translation] in a software reprogrammable format,” Glavy added, “you’re not tied to black boxes” — that is, to specific hardware from specific contractors.

Traditional procurement practices are not the only problem: So is the enemy, whom Expeditionary Force 21 predicts will be far more technologically savvy than the Taliban. In Afghanistan and Iraq, the US military has relied heavily on satellite communications, but that’s “the easy answer,” Glavy said. Since SATCOM is vulnerable to enemy anti-satellite weapons and old-fashioned jamming, for example, the Marines are experimenting with low-altitude networks that link RQ-21 drones and manned aircraft directly with line-of-sight transmissions.

“We’re going to continue to go down this technology trail,” Glavy emphasized. “We’re not going to be dependent on it.” Ultimately, if the enemy shuts down the whole network, Marines need to be proficient with a handheld compass, paper maps, and operate on their own initiative.

“What will always be in place in the Marine Corps, technology or no technology, is commander’s intent,” Glavy said. “Every Marine leaves the planning session” – be it for a brigade or a platoon – “with the commander’s vision for success. That will always be the ace in the hole.”

Comments

  • Gary Church

    “The fact that the four of the approximately 46 aboard were injured
    has led some to question whether the aircraft was the right choice for
    the evacuation mission in a hostile environment.

    Yet “they were
    hit with small arms fire and they can continue to operate,” Flanagan
    says, adding that in combat situations the Ospreys can be accompanied by
    Cobra helicopters or fighter aircraft “for defensive purposes.”

    Pure luck this fly by wire computer piloted monstrosity did not fall out of the sky. It is completely inappropriate for combat being restricted in it’s ability to maneuver by vortex ring state (that killed marines) and even goes out of control due to the prop-rotor blast of other Ospreys. It cannot auto-rotate and if it loses power going into or out of an LZ it crashes with little chance of the passengers surviving. It will go down in history as the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the U.S. taxpayer.

    That they are using it as a poster child for everything from humanitarian aid (it is about the worst sling load platform there is- a helicopter is far better for HADR) to buying new computer networks reflects poorly on the Marine Corps that has already seen the honor of it’s officer corps compromised in scandals.

    • Gary Church

      That is correct; this helicopter can air refuel, carry twice as many people or sling load twice as much weight, can land in water, has guns pointing in every direction, can auto-rotate to a survivable landing if it loses power, and first flew in 1961. Why did they buy the Osprey? Because it goes fast? No. Because it costs twice as much and 4 times as much to operate per hour. Profit.

      • Horn

        Hi, Gary. You’re right. So what if the V-22 Osprey can travel 4 times as far, has 4 times cheaper fuel cost per nmi, can refuel fighter jets or other aircraft, can be aerially refueled by another aircraft, has a cruise speed close to 100 knots faster, and can climb 800 feet-per-minute faster than the Chinook. But hey, those things don’t matter, right?

        We should just ignore that the hydraulic problem has been fixed, the VRS has been addressed, or that it can mount a GAU-17 minigun under the belly for 360 degrees of coverage. Or we could ignore the fact that vortex ring state limits all helicopters. We could ignore all the engine failures, rotor failures, crashes, accidents, and combat losses that the Chinook has sustained over the years.

        Granted, the V-22 was severely rushed through certification. The V-22 has problems that should be fixed. But that doesn’t mean we should abandon it. The concept is a good one. The V-22 has capabilities that are needed in our military. It just needs more testing and work down.

        • Tim

          The Bell salesman always compare the V-22 to the 45-year CH-46, that is half its size with one-sixth its horsepower. The V-22 spent two decades “rushing’ through certification. The V-22 “can” mount a 7.62mm belly gun, but never does, since it can’t hit sh…t with its tiny video sight and uses up half its payload. True, the 46 has far more combat losses, but the V-22 is kept far from any serious combat, and runs at the first sign of trouble, as the CV-22s wisely did in Africa.

          • Gary Church

            This guy Horn latched on to me a couple weeks ago Tim and has been replying to all my comments with contrary statements. I don’t think he cares either way about the V-22- he is after me. I seem to have a cyberstalker on my hands. I have heard of them but never thought I would acquire one.

          • shipfixr

            Tim….good point. The 46 does have more combat losses; I guess the fact it’s seen a lot more combat may be a minor factor in that statistic.

        • Tim

          “hydraulic problem has been fixed” Do you mean it’s been fixed since last year’s hydraulic fire that resulted in a crash landing near Creech Nevada and a burn up of a new MV-22?

          • Horn

            From what I understood, it caught fire after a hard landing.

        • Gary Church

          I don’t know where to start with throwing the B.S. flag on your comment. And it is pretty all B.S. So I won’t. Your are cyberstalking me and just being a creep.

          • Horn

            Please tell me which parts of that was BS.

          • Gary Church

            The Chinook can air refuel. It can fly as far as you want. The V-22 can climb 800 fpm faster (not that much faster really) because it has twice the horsepower but can only lift half as many troops. It goes fast and that’s all- but it’s meaningless because when it is landing like a helicopter it is not going fast- it is going much slower than a helicopter because of the restrictions on it when descending and ascending and they cannot even get close to each other like helicopters without their wakes making them veer out of control. Vortex ring state limits helicopters at high altitude- not at sea level like the V-22. The V-22 hover performance at high altitude is pathetic. In fact, for the amount of horsepower it has really poor performance in all categories of vertical flight- and as a cargo plane it has poor performance also. It sucks. The gun is a joke. The rest of your argument concerning problems with the Chinook having been sustained “over the years” ;since 1962. Puh-leez.
            Any more B.S. you can come up with? Now leave me alone. I am really tired of you.

        • shipfixr

          “……rushed through certification”?? I don’t think there’s been an aircraft in history that had a longer development period than the V-22. “It just needs more testing and work….” Another 20 years? Glad to see you noted the hydraulic problems, the 1st “fix” for them was to disable a lot of the features and fly on without them…..good fix.

        • CharleyA

          The underslung gun is useless near the ground, and is rarely fitted.

    • John Doe

      Where are you getting your information from? Because you are wrong on everything you have said.

      • Gary Church

        Sorry “John Doe” it is all correct. Do your homework.

        • John Doe

          I think you need to do your homework. I have 800 hrs that will prove you wrong.

          • Gary Church

            How are those practice auto-rotations going? And that distance you have to stay separated from other Ospreys to keep from going out of control? And all those successful hoists and sling ops? And that high altitude hover performance?

            Prove me wrong. I have several times more hours than you doing all the things you cannot.

          • John Doe

            One, the chance of them ever auto rotating will be when they are less than 100 ft. 22s don’t fly around like a helicopter, but yes, they can auto rotate. 2, what distance are you talking about? There is no out of control distance. There is a vertical distance but helos do the same thing. Also, hoists are done everyday with these birds and sling ops are also a regular thing for the marines. For the high altitude hover performance. Glad they thought about fuel dump and air refueling capabilities. Helo guys don’t like this bird because it can do everything better and faster. Guess that’s why the Air Force is planning on getting rid of the 60 and replacing it with more cv22s.

          • Gary Church

            “but yes, they can auto rotate.”
            That’s a lie.

            And that hoist on the ramp is next to useless. And sling ops are a nightmare.

            I am throwing the B.S. flag on you buddy.

          • Gary Church

            “Some details of the V-22’s problems hovering in hot weather were documented in an AFSOC accident report following the June 2012 crash of a CV-22 on the Florida panhandle.
            Following that crash, a second CV-22 attempted to hoist injured airmen, but aborted “due to the amount of downwash,” the accident report said. The second CV-22 also “began circling the crash site in airplane mode in an attempt to cool down their proprotor gearbox, which had begun heating up.”
            Eventually, an Army helicopter performed the rescue.”

            “The Accident Investigation Board President released his findings and said that there was clear and convincing evidence that the cause of the crash was the crew’s failure to keep the aircraft clear of the lead aircraft’s wake. The result of this was an “uncommanded” roll to the left along with a rapid loss of altitude which resulted with an impact with the terrain.The aircraft was destroyed upon impact with the loss valued at approximately 78 million USD.”

            “-the Dash-1 seriously underplays the significance of wake intrusion in V-22.
            “It is noted that the Formation Flight Limitations in the Flight
            Manual only address a “minimum” separation; once outside that separation pilots can “legally” fly anywhere they wish in proximity to other formation aircraft. Unfortunately, the aircraft wakes remain active welloutside this minimum separation and pilots can fly into them with catastrophic results. That the pilot was well outside of the minimum spacing limitations for formation flying is verified by the AIB in their Report which states: “Although the MC did not maintain the required 25 feet of vertical separation from the MLA, the MA was two- to three-times the 250 feet and375 feet distances referenced above and still encountered the MLA’s wake”
            Rivolo believes the accident was clearly not caused by “pilot error” but it was the direct result of a basic design flaw in V-22 – the side-by-side rotor configuration and its susceptibility to rotor wakes.“This accident will happen again and again,”

          • shipfixr

            I’m hearing that the V-22 operates almost perfectly….in a 100% controlled environment and within set guidelines….too bad we so rarely encounter these conditions in real life.

          • Barry

            The USMC contracted IDA to evaluate the V-22. Their top expert, Rex Rivlio, explained that it can’t autorotate, among other things. The Corps hid the report, but a good old retired General leaked it before the died.

            http://www.g2mil.com/V-22survive.htm

          • Roger

            Thanks. Here is the expert passage in that report:

            1. LACK OF AUTOROTATION
            CAPABILITY

            Although
            it was initially believed that V-22 would have a full autorotation capability,
            it is now generally agreed that the V-22 cannot autorotate in any practical
            sense. Although the V-22 has performed an autorotation in a technical sense, the
            test procedure was carefully structured to allow for a safe entry (the engine
            power was slowly removed to allow the aircraft to establish a stable
            autorotation.) In a practical autorotation, the aircraft must be able to enter a
            stable autorotative state following an abrupt power interruption. Although an
            abrupt removal of engine power in V-22 has never been done, such an event would
            probably result in loss of control because of the inability to maintain rotor
            RPM. This is especially true if the failure occurs in transition mode (60
            deg nacelles)[1], the common configuration used
            for “slinging” external loads.

            The
            single autorotation test in V-22 also demonstrated that the attempt to recover
            from autorotation to a safe landing by using stored rotor energy to arrest the
            rate of descent failed markedly. The test data indicate that the aircraft would
            have impacted the ground at a rate of descent of about 3700 ft/min (61.7 ft/sec)
            ¾ a fatal rate-of-descent. Authoritative proponents, e.g., the NASA
            Review Team, have argued that autorotation is not a needed capability for the
            V-22 due to the low probability of a two-engine failure. My analysis of Navy
            safety data shows that the Navy/USMC experiences a dual engine failure in a
            helicopter about once every 3 to 4 years due to fuel contamination onboard a
            ship. Historically, such accidents have usually been survivable because the
            helicopter autorotates into the water and the crew and passengers quickly
            scramble out. If such an event were to occur in V-22, it will probably be
            fatal to crew and passengers because the aircraft will not smoothly enter
            autorotation, but most probably depart from controlled flight, and because the
            cabin is too cramped for a rapid egress.

            We know from the combat record in
            Vietnam[2] that many ground fire hits on
            a helicopter result in a need for an immediate autorotation. Of the 3,000 or so
            helicopters lost during the Vietnamese conflict, fully 80 to 90 percent were
            lost on approach to landing (i.e., where V-22 would be operating in helicopter
            mode), approximately half safely autorotated to the ground, thereby saving the
            crews. Even though the V-22 rotors are interconnected, some combat fire hits can
            be expected to result in loss of both an engine and the rotor interconnection.
            Such combat events in V-22 would be fatal.

            Autorotation
            is to a helicopter pilot (and his passengers) what an ejection seat is to a
            fighter pilot. When everything goes wrong, as it often does in a combat
            environment, autorotation is all a helicopter pilot has to save his and his
            passenger’s lives. As good as the V-22’s survivability features may be (and
            they are very good), there will still be times when everything does go wrong; at
            those times autorotation could be the difference between a chance for survival
            and a fatal outcome. The lack of autorotation capability in V-22 is inherent in
            this tilt-rotor design given current technology options. The mission advantages
            provided by the tilt-rotor design, such as long range and high speed, afford
            survivability advantages during the ingress portion of a mission, but for
            landings into a hot zone, the lack of autorotation capability is an important
            factor whose consequences should be clearly understood.

            In
            my view, V-22 fails to meet the ORD threshold requirement to be able conduct a
            “survivable emergency landing with all engines inoperative” over a large
            portion of its operational envelope – helicopter mode flight below about 2000
            above ground level. From higher altitudes, or when operating in airplane it is
            generally believed that V-22 is capable of conducting a survivable, all
            engines-inoperative emergency landing, although considerable risk is incurred in
            such a maneuver because of the very high sink rate of V-22 and the high airspeed
            needed for the maneuver.

          • CharleyA

            Don’t think so, re: CSAR and the 60s. They were going with new build 60s, but they got pushed to the right to afford F-35s. Being that a CV-22 cost 3 times as much as a 60 – and far more to operate – and the USAF wants to buy 80 F-35s per year starting in 2016-17, CV-22 is an expensive luxury that the USAF doesn’t need.

          • Jon

            My son has 1000 hrs in my Toyota. I will be sure to ask him about issues. They were right seat hours too!

          • shipfixr

            Still no counter to anything said…..

      • shipfixr

        Then I guess I pretty much am also. Instead of just a “you’re wrong” statement, why don’t you point out a few of the points Gary is wrong on and give us a counter-point or two?

  • Harry

    They could have used C-130s that cost less. fly much faster, and carry four times more payload. The V-22s didn’t take ff land vertically, they flew as poorly designed aircraft. But they did use C-130s, to fly slowly alongside to refuel the V-22s.

    • shipfixr

      I didn’t think the V-22 could take off or land any way BUT vertically…..where do you get your information??

  • John Doe

    Wow, all the information In this article is incorrect. One, it wasn’t Marines, it was Airman (that’s right AIR FORCE). 2, there is no system out there that can detect bullets. 3, the aircraft flew fine after that. The Osprey has the advantage of getting out of bad situations fast. If there was a helo there, it would of been another Blackhawk down situation. The aircraft did what it was suppose to do and it did it perfectly. Everyone talks about its lack of weapons, but in that situation, you would of never got a shot off.

    • Gary Church

      “WASHINGTON — Three United States aircraft flying into a heavily contested region of South Sudan
      to evacuate American citizens were attacked on Saturday morning and
      forced to turn back without completing the mission, American officials
      said. Four service members were wounded, one seriously.”

      Fail.

    • shipfixr

      Where did it say it WAS Marines?

  • John Doe

    Learn about the aircraft you’re trying put down and realize it is an amazing machine that saved a lot of people. Ohh by the way, it’s costs less to operate per hour then the pavlow.

    • Gary Church

      I know all about the aircraft I am “trying to put down.”
      It sucks.

    • Fim

      Can you post a link? The USAF says the V-22 is one of its most expensive per hour aircraft. More than a C-5! http://nation.time.com/2013/04/02/costly-flight-hours/

      • Gary Church

        John Doe seems to be lying his ass off.

      • Gary Mosque

        I’m calling bs that article quotes a blog, either way the information is via a third party. Your telling me it cost less to operate an aging Boeing 707 than osprey, bull shit.

        • shipfixr

          You call a C-5 “…an aging Boeing 707…” and then call what someone else says “bull shit”??

          • Gary Mosque

            Not the C-5, look carefully on that list you will see a 707!

          • Gary Church

            The cost per hour is probably because there are only 30 of them and there are enough parts available from the retired tanker fleet that the price to keep them flying is very low compared to other aircraft Gary. I could be wrong and you could be right though- older aircraft usually cost more. But there is no doubt that the V-22 costs are very high and probably much higher that listed because the Marines have been cooking the books for years.

          • shipfixr

            Ahhhh, you’re right. my bad. But then, look at the post you were answering, then your response, and you can see where I made my error. Sorry.

  • Don Bacon

    from the skepticSaturday

    The Osprey is an awesome aircraft for a combat scenario where you don’t need gunship escort, you aren’t fired at when landing or taking off, where heat-seeking MANPADS simply do not exist, where natural obstacles like windshear and downdrafts just don’t happen at the wrong times, and for when the bad guy’s flaming baseballs just bounce off your fuselage like they do in the Holly-weird movies.

    And that’s been proven in Africa

    The US Africa Command confirmed this morning that several US servicemembes were injured today while trying to evacuate American citizens form the embattled town of Bor in South Sudan.

    In a statement, an AFRICOM official wrote that three CV-22 Ospreys—which are the US Air Force Special Operations variant—“were fired on by small arms fire by unknown forces” while approaching the town. “All three aircraft sustained damage during the engagement. Four service members onboard the aircraft were wounded during the engagement.”

    The aircraft were then diverted to Entebbe, Uganda, “where the wounded were transferred onboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 and flown to Nairobi, Kenya for medical treatment.”

    So Rwanda did the job with Mi-8s

    This morning, the United States — in coordination with the United Nations and in consultation with the South Sudanese government — safely evacuated American citizens from Bor, South Sudan, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. “U.S. citizens and citizens from our partner nations were flown from Bor to Juba on U.N. and U.S. civilian helicopters.

    An Mi-8 helicopter of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), in Juba
    http://www.unmultimedia.org/photo/detail.jsp?id=543/543376&key=0&query=helicopters&lang=en&sf=

    Boosting the mission’s ability to airlift personnel and supplies in South Sudan, 120 Rwandan aviation troops arrived today to join UNMISS (United Naitons Mission in Southern Sudan) in the capital Juba. The contingent brings with it six helicopters. Three arrived yesterday with 18 personnel, while the remaining helicopters are expected in coming days.

    • Charles

      Excellent info. I think the Bell-Boeing sales reps are off until Monday, so stand-by for BS then.

    • shipfixr

      I’m also hearing that the V-22 is a maintenance nightmare.

      • Gary Church

        Anyone who has ever worked on airplanes and especially helicopters can look at the way it folds up for shipboard storage and the titanium super high pressure hydraulic system and KNOW it is a maintenance monstrosity. It has every system a helo and a fixed wing has to maintain plus it has swiveling engine mounts. Jeez. They can cook the books only so long on this thing but it is going to catch up to them sooner or later and it will become obvious it cannot be maintained and it will be suddenly retired. After vast amounts of taxpayer dollars have been flushed. What a waste. What an incredible waste. When I think of all the conventional helicopters that could have been put in service for what was spent on this junk it makes me mad as hell.

        • shipfixr

          Gary, I should have said “….the V-22 is a maintenance nightmare’….even compared to other aircraft”. I was told by a Marine aviation mech that when the hydraulics that controlled the dust filters for the engines started giving them more trouble than they could keep up with…..they just deactivated them….a trick that caused a lot of problems when deployed to the middle east. I think that problem has since been solved but he said they flew for quite awhile in that condition. I agree the plane will eventually be taken out of service sooner than it’s actual age would dictate. Having them aboard CVN’s and large amphibs as the ships COD aircraft where they fly between relatively safe environments, usually with maintenace facilities at each end of the tripm might be a good task for them….they have the range and the payload.

          • Gary Church

            I doubt it. A hangar queen is a hangar queen. Helicopters are are hard enough to keep flying and the Osprey is actually worse. If you can imagine tearing this rotor head down every 700 flight hours (I am guessing) and putting it back together you can understand why it takes twice as many mechs to keep a rotary wing flying flying compared to a fixed wing. We call them shuddering sh#thouses for a reason. The Osprey is much worse because not only are there two rotors but they and the entire engines swivel from horizontal to vertical. The best way to haul cargo onto a carrier is with a fixed wing. A fixed wing is always cheaper than a helicopter. The best way to transfer cargo at sea from ship to ship is sling loading with a helicopter. The V-22 is an extremely poor sling loader from what I have heard.

          • shipfixr

            Actually, I always found the best way to transfer cargo from ship to ship is via conventional unrep…..alongside method, when I was in an AFS, and later an AE….we transferred ten pallets via unrep to every four the CH-47′s did…..of course they could transfer to other ships while we did the one alongside…..everythings a trade. Pax and cargo to a flight deck via C-2 is good but I think there might be a place for the V-22, it’s sure the only thing I can think of that it might have a lasting career at…..otherwise I see a vacation to the Arizona desert in store (the operative words being “..in store”)

          • Gary Church

            You would know better than me; I have never seen an unrep. I just assumed it was so much trouble that slinging would be easier. I assumed and you know what that means. I guy named Dale posted this on another page. Don’t know if you saw it or not but I worked on 60′s a larger part of my career. They are pretty good birds for sling ops.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVgXPHE63wM

          • shipfixr

            Back in the day……we carried two CH-47 Sea Knights to do our VertReps and the usual procedure was to take ships alongside for ConRep while the two birds did the other ships in the formation, ships would come and go from alongside, often with the Helo’s still delivering to them….the 60′s came along long after I was retired…….truth to tell, the combination of the two was hard to beat. For a CV replenishment, all bets were off and we ran two rigs alongside while both helo’s delivered to the flight deck.

          • Gary Church

            Pretty cool. Pretty girls.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA0vgSWwl5A

          • shipfixr

            No ladies aboard when I was doing it………it’s hell to get old.

  • Gary Church

    “We’re going to continue to go down this technology trail,” Glavy emphasized. “We’re not going to be dependent
    on it.” Ultimately, if the enemy shuts down the whole network, Marines
    need to be proficient with a handheld compass, paper maps, and operate
    on their own initiative.”

    Well, that’s B.S. There are only so many hours in the day.

  • Argonaut

    Shut up John Doe. You’re wholly incorrect and worse still, you’re deliberately spreading misinformation in an effort to promote an aircraft which you probably had a hand in selling or designing. Enough of your BS you crusty BSer.

  • Joseph White

    Out of curiosity, the CH-64′s have been shot down, right? As have Hueys, and Blackhawks. My question about this, is if the Rwandan military had mI-8′s, why didn’t the US Military just ask the Rwandan Military to do a join flighty ops into the area and why didn’t the osprey wait outside the landing zone while the mi-8 did the job of a Cobra or Apache?

    • Mike

      Looks bad for PR film to have the Rwandan military clear the area of combatants while the V-22 sits up there at a safe altitude……. Kind of blows holes in the fast cruise argument when this albatross can’t get down quickly in a hostile environment, aye? Heck, even the Huey could do that with both door gunners blazing away to keep the enemy heads down…… Would help it the V-22 had door gunners, but it looks like the extra weight problem rules that out…. :(

      • shipfixr

        Stupid question probably but why shouldn’t the V-22 (or any helo for that matter) sit up at a safe altitude while the gunships clear an LZ if they’re available? Seems the smart thing to do as far as I can see.

        • Mike

          Because it is suppose to be a “combat aircraft” and seldom does a helicopter have the option of letting “gunships clear an LZ”…

          • shipfixr

            Cool your jets for a second and read my comment again; see if the phrase “…if they’re available….” makes the whole thing make a little more sense.

          • Mike

            OK, I get it…My bad…

        • Gary Church

          The entire air assault mythos that has sprung from fantasies like the ride of the valkries in apocalypse now is really the opposite of reality. Helicopters were a big part of my life and I will be the first to say they are amazing and indispensable and worth the money. That said they are ridiculously easy to shoot down. Basically flying pickup trucks. The Osprey is also a flying pickup truck when it is in helicopter mode. But a Helicopter can auto-rotate and having been in the back for several hundred practice auto-rotations I have a keen appreciation for what that means. If you can get away with landing troops in a raid with acceptable losses then you do it. But if someone is shooting at you then something bad is bound to happen. That’s just the way it is. Combat aircraft means some of them are going to be combat losses. We lost 50 planes a day in World War II.

          If you orbit around waiting for your enemies to be killed the chances are (unless you use a neutron bomb) when you land they are still going to be there waiting for you- except they are really going to be absolutely determined by then to kill you. I know I would be.

          • shipfixr

            Again; the phrase used was “…if they’re available”. What would you do….tell the gunships to get out of the way because you’re determined you’re gonna John Wayne into the LZ? If there are 25 enemy troops shooting at you and the gunships take out 15 of them……the odds have just improved…….even if they ARE pretty well pissed by then. BTW, did an auto-rotation as a passenger in a CH-47; landed on Corregidor (which was our destination anyway) and I didn’t know we’d done one until we landed…..

          • Mike

            Actually, our night jumps were a lot safer than going in by helicopter…..You might notice that the Seals who went to Africa for those kidnapped missionaries where able to get boots on the ground without being compromised, then after all the kidnappers had been shot dead, the helicopters where able to land and retrieve everyone… Good mission, bad guys dead and everyone was home for breakfast!… :)

          • Gary Church

            I think shipfixr is really tunnel visioning on this landing in a hot LZ thing. You just don’t do that. Vietnam was really a special place for helicopter warfare because the triple canopy protected the helicopters from ground fire just as much as it hid enemy troops. If your LZ was “hot” then usually you knew they were shooting at you from the edge of the clearing so you could shoot back. But in open terrain and especially in the mountains they can be shooting at you from a very long ways away and you can’t really shoot back. You insert troops where the enemy is not and nowadays at night. That’s how you do it without getting shot down by some teenager with a hundred dollar RPG. Medevac helicopter pilots are different- they will break the rules of course. That’s what they do.

          • Mike

            And a lot of shot-up guys are alive today, because those guys were willing to take the chances….

          • shipfixr

            No tunnel vision involved. This went from a comment that you don’t wait for gunships to clear an LZ……and the simple statement that you do it they’re there are you can wait while they make a go of clearing ground fire.

          • Gary Church

            Okay. Sorry. I don’t need any more enemies on this forum.

          • shipfixr

            You haven’t made an enemy…..I agree with you almost totally on what I’ve read so far….. Remember, I did not say, and do not think that a V-22 or any other combat helo must wait for gunships or tac air to clear an LZ but it’s like the proverbial “Free Lunch”….there’s no such thing but, if you ever DO find one…..sit down and eat.

          • Gary Church

            Absolutely. It’s all about murder.

          • Mike

            No offense intended to you shipfixr….. Gary knows whom I am talking about… Adios..

          • Mike

            Screw the “enemies”… Keep the truth coming….. Eventually, the liars will eat themselves alive… I’m getting more cynical as I’m beginning to call these days as the “Era of the Quislings”… Those that would sell their brothers down the river for the almighty coin of the realm have a special place waiting for them on the dark side…. :(

          • Gary Church

            I hear you man. The military is essentially boots on the ground and everything is supposed to let that guy put that gun to the enemies head and convince him to surrender and end the war. We have wandered so far away from that with all these billion toys that it has become really scary. I don’t want to see this country go the way of all the other ones that were at the top of the food chain. They didn’t think it could happen either.

          • Gary Church

            Billion dollar toys. Sorry.

          • Gary Church

            Well, that’s different, yes. I would run like hell away from that. You know they are coming after you after you when you shoot at the guys bringing the beer.

          • shipfixr

            Come to think of it……I recall that, among other things, it WAS beer!

          • Mike

            I’m out of here. Got things to do…. You have a good weekend old soldier.. Always enjoy your “real life” comments…

          • Gary Church

            Roger out.

          • Gary Church

            I once asked an 82nd guy why they didn’t use the squares and he said, “a square is like a little airplane- can you imagine several hundred airplanes trying to land in the same place at once?” And I understood why:). Several years ago I read something about a new chute for them that could do some of everything; it could go straight down like a round but could actually slow at the last second for a softer landing or it could fly in one direction somewhat. But I don’t know if they use it and have not kept up on that stuff.

          • Gary Church

            The pilot must have been a good stick. Most real emergency auto’s end as controlled crashes with ideally everyone walking away. That’s why they practice them all the time.

          • shipfixr

            LT Max Tea….one of the best. Too me, it was just a bumpy landing; there were seven of us plus the crew chief in back; I guess him sitting down and strapping in should have been a hint. The engines were alright, it was some little thing in the drive train for the rotors. Worried me more that the three of them tinkered with it for 15 minutes and then joined us to tour the island…..then we all got in and flew back to Subic without incident, can’t speak for the others but I was very glad when we touched down at Cubi Point.

  • Mike

    Guys,
    I’m just an old special ops. airborne ground pounder, but I have noticed on HUGE failure of the 22 that I want to pass along. My experience is that the most vulnerable time for a helo is on landing… The faster the helo can get down, unload and scat the greater the survivability of the helo and the passengers…. The fact that the v-22 CAN NOT do that quickly, makes it less suited for combat use….. Just watching the film clips of this beast trying to land, even on a clean deck is agonizing…. When the dust is flying, it would be even slower and more vulnerable to ground fire…… Nope, not the bird for this old guy who has spent lots of time making fast exits and lived through them!…. :(

    • CharleyA

      Yep, approach to landing speed is slower than a helo.

  • Don Bacon

    If you’ve got 45 minutes, check out this highly professional Osprey promo video produced by MacKenzie Productions.. (Don’t miss the ending featuring the Marine Commandant. You’ll want to rush out and buy one.)

    Amazon DVD promo:

    It flies like a plane and lands like a helicopter. After more than two decades in development and coming in at $20 billion over budget, the V-22 Osprey heads to Iraq to enter combat for the first time. Veteran filmmaker and war correspondent Richard Mackenzie travels with a U.S. Marine Corps squadron to document this historic exercise and Osprey’s maiden missions.

    Through exclusive access to the squadron and the aircraft, go behind closed doors into secret planning sessions. Then, join the pilots in the cockpit and fly with infantry assault teams on Osprey’s missions to the distant and desolate deserts of Iraq. The V-22 Osprey can carry troops three times as far and go twice as fast as previous aircraft, but will it live up to high expectations as the replacement to an antiquated helicopter fleet? Find out if the Osprey is ready for the harsh realities of the battlefield.

    My take–

    The Ospreys were in the Iraq combat zone to interdict insurgents and keep them from massing, the leader said. Well, so-called insurgents don’t mass. They don’t have to, they’re everywhere. Especially they are near the roads, which is why expensive aircraft were needed to move troops and supplies. Even more true in Afghanistan.

    In this promo video the Ospreys “rose to the challenge” …two days of uncontested “combat operations” to a lonesome isolated desert compound and an empty cave. Big whoop. Zero results. What did that cost, men and materiel?

    I was waiting for the hot LZ scene — but they weren’t THAT stupid. Nevertheless, there are plenty of facts in this video to build many arguments against the Osprey, including that they require armed helicopter escorts which can negate the Osprey’s speed advantage.

    • Gary Church

      Why do they have crocodile dundee narrating? The standard arrogant Brit RP is fine but shrimp on the barby seems kind of…….I don’t know. I don’t want to offend any Aussies so I will leave it at that. I saw one on the F-117 many years ago narrated by Sarah Connor in that bored drawl of hers and that was equally irritating.

      • Mike

        Gary,
        You do have a special kind of “cut the B.S.”, sense of humor!… :) Now, I understand why it was “grating”… Guess I wasn’t paying enough attention… Thanks for pointing that out!.. Guess when you have seen a lot of crap over the years, it especially gets to you, knowing how many good soldiers died (that shouldn’t have), because of that stuff…

        • Gary Church

          If you want to get depressed watch the documentary called “The Fog of War.” It has an interview with a stealth pilot that dropped a bomb on a supposed Iraqi command bunker. Except it was actually bad intel and a bomb shelter full of women and children. The guy was really into his job and the mission and the contrast with the results is just……really confusing. War is so exciting to many of us but the reality is shitty.

          • Mike

            Will do….. Military Intelligence in a misnomer… Best intel was your own intel…… Heart races when someone is trying to kill you… Nothing nice about combat… You do your damnedest to keep each other alive when the “latest intel” was bad and never forget the one’s you couldn’t, never…. And you never forget the guys that saved your butt, either…. Now, I’m 10-7….

  • George

    After comments about the AIB for the CV-22 rollover crash in 2012 Florida, we see reality is different from the sales pitch. Here is the rescue part:

    The MLA hovered over
    the crash site, hoisted the MCP and began circling the crash site in airplane mode in an attemptto cool down their proprotor gearbox, which had begun heating up (Tab V-6.7 and V-7.6).
    The MLIF and the MLEF continued providing care to the injured members of the MC and determined that due to the amount of downwash the MLA had produced on their previous hoist that it would be more harmful than helpful to hoist out any other injured crewmembers.

    http://usaf.aib.law.af.mil/ExecSum2012/CV-22B%2C%20Hurlburt%2C%2013%20Jun%2012.pdf
    ____________________________
    So hovering for a few minutes caused the gearbox to heat up that they had to begin circling at forward speed with the hoist dangling below!

  • George

    And this is why the POTUS is not allowed in a V-22:

    b. Inadequacy of CV-22 Wake Modeling CV-22 wake modeling is inadequate for a trailing aircraft to make accurate estimations of safe separation from the preceding aircraft. Formal guidance references l
    imited wind tunnel testing and states that t
    he precise geometry of the V-22’s wake has not been
    characterized in flight. It includes generalizations about wake settling along the vacated flight path of the aircraft and the severity of rotor/wake interactions being greater at slower airs
    peeds and higher nacelle angles but never specifies a minimum safe distance for the trailing aircraft
    (Tab BB-20). Specification of a minimum of 250 feet cockpit-to-cockpit separation between aircraft in formation and charts depicting aircraft wake
    effects extending only to 375 feet can potentially give a false sense of security to aircrews flying
    at significantly greater distances in trail
    (Tabs V-10.11, BB-15 to BB-16 and BB-22).

    Although the MC did not maintain the required 25 feet of vertical separation from the MLA, the MA was two-to three-times the 250 feet and 375 feet distances referenced above and still encountered the MLA’s wake (Tab AA-23 and AA-25). c.CV-22 Flight Simulator’s Inability to Replicate Wake
    Turbulence. The CV-22 flight simulator is unable
    to replicate wake turbulence effects created by one C
    V-22on the performance of another. Flight in the CV-22 flight simulator immediately behind and
    below another CV-22 operating in conversion mode demonstrates that the flight simulator does not model wake effects (Tab EE-3). As such, CV-22 crewmembers cannot experience the potentially
    catastrophic effects that one CV-22’s wake can have on the performance of another and cannot be trained to effectively visualize and avoid that wake.

    d.Lack of Corrective Procedures for Entry into
    CV-22 Wake Turbulence No formal guidance
    exists to prescribe corrective procedures for
    a CV-22 that enters the wake of another CV-22. Pilots are thus left to adapt recovery procedures for
    entry into Vortex Ring State.
    ______________________________

    Me again, Also note 2012 CV-22 crash in Afghanistan was caused by inflated flight data to hide its poor HOGE ability.
    http://www.g2mil.com/qalat.htm

    And the SpecOps sent their CV-22s home from Afghanistan just a few months after they arrived, and chose H-60s and H-47s for the Obama thing while the “advanced” V-22′s were left to haul trash to a carrier.

    • Don Bacon

      George, a tip:
      Use the Edit option, copy and paste your piece to Notepad, widen the page, and correct the lines so it’s readable. Toggle the Word Wrap under format to check it, then repost it here still using the Edit option.

  • Mike

    Who the heck is in charge of this site..? You post something and it gets sunk back in the middle of comments that were posted 20 hours ago!… :( What gives? Looking back through these comments, they are all screwed up relative to the timing of comments!… Come on Breaking Defense, lets do a better job, aye!?… :(

    • Gary Church

      Disqus is new I think and still has a few glitches Mike. I don’t think it is necessarily the webmasters fault.

      • Mike

        Gary,
        No sooner did you make your comments and both my comment and yours where moved to the middle among comments made 20 hours ago….. Sure hope someone can figure out this problem… :(

        • Gary Church

          Try sorting by “best” Mike- maybe you changed the preference by accident from newest?

          • Mike

            Wilco, roger that…

          • Gary Church

            Well, I said that backwards but you figured it out:(

          • Mike

            Yep, that fixed it… New computer… I still haven’t got it tamed!… :) See ya…

    • Mike

      Breaking Defense: Again my bad… An old soldier and helo problem solver, straightened my new computer out!… :(

  • 10579

    guys after all the bickering i have read from the below comments, i figure that i would try to interject some humor.How about fixing 2 jsf 35′s to the wings and get rid of those huge rotors It might be a step up for both programs Ha,Ha,:). Sorry I don’t like seeing any of our people sent into harms way with inferior equipment,it’s bad enough that they have to go in the first place, but i pray for their safety and safe return on any mission,hostile or not.

    • Gary Church

      Amen.

  • Gary Church

    For the amount of money spent on the Osprey we could have a fleet of Credible Sports.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSFjhWw4DNo

    • Gary Church

      It crashed because the pilot hit the wrong switch and ignited the breaking rockets before the hover rockets and it fell out of the sky. Everyone walked away though. I always wondered if it had worked if they would have kept building them.

      • Mike

        Gary,
        Made many middle of the night departures in C-123′s with those rockets. They worked just fine and were one hell of a rush… Amazing how fast those birds got airborne from dirt strips with that rocket assist… When I saw the Osprey, I also wondered why they simply didn’t use the Harrier technology on something like a jet powered C-123 or the later C-130…Imagine the billions that could have been saved… :(

        • Gary Church

          Here you go Mike- hope you can read this.

          • Gary Church

            Of course Harriers are pretty FOD sensitive and can’t just land anywhere like a helicopter and that made the idea impractical for most special forces ops. You can really only land these things on a clean surface; the fan blades can be damaged by anything like gravel or other stuff. One of the great features of modern helicopter turboshafts like the GE T-700 on the Blackhawk are IPS- Inlet Particle Separators that prevent most stuff getting sucked into the engine. Someone posted a comment those do not work right on the Osprey so they disconnected them:(

          • Gary Church

            But..going back to the comment he said they have since fixed the problem. I hope so.

          • Mike

            Funny, I’d thought of those screens also…. You’d think if they worked on the Blackhawk, they’d work on the Osprey or any other jet engine also… Those old Jet assisted C-123′s were wonderful as a gathering for a whole bunch of A-Teams that had gone into their operational areas at night by parachute…
            They’d so cover those 123′s with camouflage that they were almost invisible…. There was a guy in Vietnam who would sit for days with a Huey waiting for deep insertion teams, so camouflaged that neither the V.C. nor the NVA ever found him…

          • Mike

            For us, insertion ALWAYS had to be secret, but departures really did not matter as everything was silent until they spun the engines up and fired off those rockets, then we were gone in a flash and as you might imagine, those assembly places were always in the middle of nowhere…….

          • Gary Church

            Actually they are not screens, they are little semi-fans that whirl the air and anything heavy flies to the outside and gets discarded. Neat little gizmo but it sucks some horsepower and will not work on turbofans or other jet engines, only turboshaft engines. In Alaska the floatplane is probably a good SF option because you can land in fairly small rivers and then winch them out and under trees and then camouflage them. Pretty easy to disappear and no one is going to find you. I would not doubt that a few people have done that on purpose and just disappeared for whatever reason (unhappy marriage?). I have been on a few searches where the plane dropped off the face of the Earth. Vanished.

          • Mike

            A lot of boggy and forested country and glacial streams that can hide wreckage up there… A bunch of our teams went in by parachute during the few hours of dark and we all came out in one of those “flying bananas” that was camouflaged and waiting for us….Those Infantry, Armor and Artillery legs never did find us…. Did I ever tell you that a case of beer was about the same size and weight of a case of C-rations? Great night-time resupply drops every three-four days… :) Also, great steaks at that Air Force base by Greeley… :) Those “fly boys” really knew how to eat!… :)

  • ycplum

    The V-22 is trying to get the best elements of both the fixed-wing and rotary-wing worlds. It can covers the mission profiles of both, but doesn’t do it as well as either. It also picked up some of the worst elements of both worlds.