Guam – The V-22 Ospreys that will be participating in Operation “Forager Fury” here in the Marianas in the coming weeks, has been the object of some controversy by critics who say it is accident prone.
The first 6 Ospreys arrived at the U.S. Marine Futenma Air Station in Okinawa on October 1st. In all, 12 are now stationed there. There have been fierce protests from Okinawan residents, and others in Japan, who have opposed the deployment of the aircraft to Okinawa because of its accident record.
In July, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun published an article claiming that there have been “58 mishaps” involving the Osprey which combines the vertical take off capability of a helicopter with the higher speed cruising performance of a fixed wing aircraft.
However, in a statement to PNC News today [Monday] Marine Corps Activity-Guam Public Affairs Officer Lt.Col. Aisha Bakkar says the Osprey is a “very safe aircraft to fly.”
Lt. Bakkar writes:
“It’s NOT accident prone.”
“The MV-22 has been supporting the Marine Corps continuously since October 207, in extreme environmental conditions during 14 combined deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan ad aboard amphibious shipping. It has expanded the operational reach of Marine forces by 340NM (60%) compared to other rotary wing assets.”
“The MV-22 is exceptionally survivable. Aircraft engaged in the close in, kinetic fight in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) have taken small arms,
rocket-propelled grenade and heavy machine gun fire on several occasions and in every instance were able to safely return all aircraft, crew, and
passengers to friendly territory.”
“The MV-22 is a very safe aircraft to fly in and far safer now than it ever has been. Through material solutions, bi-annual software updates and
enhanced pilot training, we have improved the safety of the MV-22 making it one of the safest aircraft in the Marine Corps. At this time, the MV-22 is well below the average mishap rate for the Marine Corps and all DoD tactical rotary wing aircraft.”