This week's cover article in Time magazine is about the V-22. The title of the article - "A Flying Shame" - gives you a pretty good indication of writer Mark Thompson's thesis.
I was contacted by Thompson in late August. During our half hour conversation I offered pretty much the same thoughts I put out here some months ago regarding the Osprey's warfighting potential, including my belief that the airplane really could "change everything" in terms of how the Marine Corps fights.
Well, Thompson left out the part where I indicated my support and hopes for VMM-263's success and resultantly I am presented as a "critic."
Serves me right, I guess. I dealt with this type of reporter for three years in support of the program and was often frustrated by what they left out of the final product. That's what I get for attempting a complete thought with a reporter who's reverse engineering a story. I should have used my "risk communications" training during this conversation.
As I've written here before, Godspeed to the "Thunder Chickens" and all who work in support of the V-22 around the fleet. I hope to be proved wrong with my (now well circulated) concerns, including the mishap rate. In fact, I'm planning on it.
Here's a video of Colonel "Bluto" Walters, USMC - former CO of VMX-22 - addressing Thompson's points on Fox News.
As always, we'll be keeping DT readers up on what's happening - both good and bad - with this crucial first deployment.