The Marine Corps announced the first operational deployment of the controversial MV-22 Osprey will be a combat tour to western Iraq.
Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway said the New River, N.C.-based Thunder Chickens of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 will deploy to al Asad air base Iraq in September.
The Corps had declined to reveal the location of its first real-world deployment of the Osprey for months; leading some to speculate the transport would be sent on a lower-profile deployment to guard against programmatic shock-waves should something go wrong.
This deployment directly supports our number one priority: Marines and sailors in contact at the tip of the spear, Conway said during a press briefing announcing the decision.
Its been a road marked by some setbacks, lots of sacrifices and the success of these Marines standing before you today, he added, with the Corps aviation chief, Lt. Gen. John Castellaw, standing at his side.
(DT staff note: Defense Tech salutes the Marine Corps on this announcement and wishes VMM-263 all the best.)Read the rest of Christian's report here.