AFSOC pilots Capt Brett Cassidy (l) and Maj. Taylor Fingarson, pilots of Rooster 75

WASHINGTON: Air Force Tech. Sgt. David Shea sensed no danger as he stood with his .50 caliber machine gun ready at the open ramp of “Rooster 73,” one of three CV-22 Ospreys coming in to land on a small, rutted airstrip in Bor, South Sudan. A crowd of up to 10,000 people milled about a United… Keep reading →

Gen. Mike Hostage at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan in 2013.

“Our industrial base has eroded and we’re reducing our military down to a skeletal size at a time when the world is looking crazier by the day,” Gen. Mike Hostage told reporters Tuesday at the Air Force Association’s annual conference. “[But] there is nothing happening right now that is going to make sequestration go away, so… Keep reading →


As the Air Force Association girds for its annual conference, which starts Monday here in Washington, I was struck by several comments from several experts that the traditional dichotomy between air power and ground forces — often the focus of internecine budget battles between the Army and Air Force — isn’t that relevant any more. Aircraft… Keep reading →

The Air Force plans to reinstate substantial formation flight training for CV-22 Osprey pilots that it eliminated four years ago, AOL Defense has learned. Reinstatement of the training four years after the service ended it is an implicit admission, V-22 aviators said, that better training might have prevented the June 13 crash of a CV-22B in Florida.

From now on, Air Force pilots going through initial Osprey flight training with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 (VMMT-204) at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., will take a classroom course in formation flight, fly two formation flights of two hours each in a V-22 simulator, and fly one actual two-hour formation flight in the tiltrotor troop transport. Keep reading →

In the last few weeks the Air Force and the Marines have officially blamed pilot errors for two Osprey crashes. Given the plane’s dark past and the continuing controversies about whether it’s a safe aircraft I commissioned our regular contributor Richard Whittle, author of “The Dream Machine: The Untold History of the Notorious V-22 Osprey,” to interview as many experienced Osprey pilots as he could reach to see if they believe the Osprey is a flawed aircraft or not. His findings follow. The Editor

UPDATED: 4:30 p.m. Sept. 6, 2012 Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: The pilot in command of the Air Force Special Operations Command CV-22 Osprey that crashed at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida on June 13 was also the copilot of an AFSOC Osprey that suffered a fatal accident in Afghanistan on April 8, 2010, Breaking Defense has confirmed. Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: The Air Force has relieved the commander of its 8th Special Operations Squadron “because of a loss of confidence in his ability to effectively command the unit” in the wake of a tiltrotor CV-22 Osprey crash June 13 that injured all five crew members and destroyed the aircraft.

Col. James Slife, commanding officer of the 1st Special Operations Wing, issued a statement that omitted the name of dismissed commander Lt. Col. Matt Glover, who took charge of the Osprey unit at Hurlburt Field, Fla., in May 2011. Slife did not offer a detailed explanation for why Glover was being relieved – a career ending development, in most cases. The wing commander’s statement, first issued to our colleagues at, merely said the “challenges of the 8th Special Operations Squadron’s demanding mission require new leadership to maintain the highest levels of precision and to reliably support the ground forces which count on the 8th SOS to safely accomplish their missions.” Glover has been replaced, Breaking Defense has learned, by Lt. Col. Matthew Smith, former commander of the 20th Special Operations Squadron, another AFSOC unit at Cannon Air Force Base, N.Mex. Keep reading →

WASHINGTON [Corrected at 6 pm Friday]: The latest crash of a V-22 tiltrotor may be a black mark on the aircraft’s safety record, but it won’t bring down the program. Despite literally decades of criticism — which is now certain to flare up again — there’s simply too much budgetary momentum, political support, and, yes, operational value to the V-22.

Yesterday evening, a CV-22 — the Air Force Special Operations version of the Osprey — crashed in Florida. (The 1st Special Operations Wing aircraft was based out of Hurlburt Field, part of Eglin Air Force Base in Florida). The five people aboard were injured and taken to local hospitals, but the Air Force announced this afternoon that none of their injuries was life-threatening; four crewmen were listed as stable and one in “guarded” condition. [Updated Friday 3:45 pm: Two of the crewmen were released from hospital Friday; three remain hospitalized]. The wing commander, Col. James Slife, said in a press conference there was no general safety issue apparent that would require grounding the CV-22 fleet. Keep reading →

CV-22 – USAF Special Ops version of Marine V-22 Osprey – crashes in Florida, five injured but, thankfully, no dead: SydneyFreedberg

WASHINGTON: The V-22 Osprey that crashed during a military exercise in southern Morocco, killing two Marine crew chiefs, had just dropped troops off in a landing zone on a clear day and was flying away when the accident occurred, military sources tell Breaking Defense.

Those circumstances might seem to suggest that the tiltrotor troop transport malfunctioned, the sources said, but they added that neither the Marines nor the Air Force suspended flights by the rest of their V-22 fleets in the wake of the accident – a strong sign no mechanical failure is suspected. Keep reading →

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