Special Ops Squadron Gets A New Ride!
Hurlburt Field's 8th Special Operations Squadron took delivery
of its first Bell-Boeing CV-22 at Hurlburt, FL Thursday.
The CV-22 is the USAF version of the V-22 Osprey, a tiltrotor
aircraft that combines the speed and range of fixed wing aircraft
with the vertical flight performance of a helicopter. At a cost of
$89 million a copy, it can carry 32 troops or up to 10,000 pounds
of cargo. It has a range of 2,100 NM while cruising 230 knots.
Military planners say the CV-22 will give special operations
unique capabilities allowing a global response with rapid mobility.
The craft's mission includes infiltration, exfiltration and
resupply of forces in hostile territory.
"The self-deploying capability of the CV-22 enables us to
respond to any mission immediately," said Lieutenant Colonel Eric
Hill, 8th SOS director of operations. "We can just up and fly as-is
with no tear down or transport necessary."
Special operations helicopters are traditionally stowed aboard a
transport aircraft for deployment to overseas destinations. The
packing and unpacking process adds complexity and time to the
deployment process. The CV-22's speed, range and vertical takeoff
and land (VTOL) capability means it can fly itself to any location
in the world.
"Our enemies better watch out," said Lieutenant General Mike
Wooley, commander of the Air Force Special Operation Command. "This
is truly a transitional event for our great Air Force and for our
Special Operations Command."
The aircraft is so new military tactician still haven't worked
out the best ways to use it.
Assistant director of operations for the 8th SOS Lieutenant
Colonel Darryl Sheets said, "We're going to get out with teams and
see how they want to use it and how it can help them complete their
missions. We haven't begun to explore the possibilities that are
out there. Aside from our primary mission, we can handle personnel
recovery, resupply and psychological operations too."
Boeing and its partner Bell Helicopter have the contract
providing support services for the first aircraft. The team will
support five at Hurlburt Field, and four at Kirtland Air Force
The USAF plans to assign 50 CV-22 aircraft to Hurlburt by