Ospreys land at Whiting Field

Freedom Communications

The sky wasn’t falling Wednesday if you lived north of Milton, it was the Osprey’s landing at NAS Whiting Field.

A group of four MV-22B Ospreys and a KC-130J Super Tanker landed at NAS Whiting Field to offer a static display to future Marine airmen who are working on earning their wings.

Captain Jamie Vandiver with Trawing Wing 5 (TRAWING-5) noted the importance of the visit during the groups integration traning mission.

“This is a huge event for these future pilots,” Vandiver said. “Here all they see is a picture on the wall because there are not a lot of former V-22 pilots in the classroom.

“Here they can see, touch, and feel a V-22 as well as talk to those fellow Marines who are currently flying them.”

Osprey’s like the ones that visited Whiting Field can provide transport for 24 combat troops, 20,000 pounds of internal cargo, or 15,000 pounds of external cargo as it utilizes its unique vertical takeoff and landing capabilities.

Besides its use in the war efforts in places like Afghanistan, the six-year-old fleet of Osprey’s are also used in security and humanitarian efforts globally.

“This is more than just a exercise,” said Lt. Col. Craig Leflore with VMM-365 out of New River, N.C. “We just returned from duty in Afghanistan from July of last year until this January.

“We are working on some special training, but also meeting and greeting future Marine aviators and answering question as to what they could expect if they are assigned to an Osprey.”

The Ospreys and Super Tanker held a rendezvous in Key West, Fla,, earlier this month and have also visited Corpus Christi, Texas before their planned return to the North Carolina area.

Leflore pointed out there are a great number of myths out there about the Osprey.

“With this opportunity we are hoping to give these young Marines some expectations if they select this aircraft,” Leflore said. “The V-22 group is so small there are no instructors yet to pass along the day to day knowledge of this aircraft.

“These socials allow us to talk to the pilots and eliminate a lot of misinformation since the aircraft is still relatively new.”

Despite it being such a new aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps fleet in recent consecutive Iraq deployments over the last 18 months three Osprey squadrons have logged according to Marine Aircraft Group 26 in Jacksonville, N.C.: