“Pretty Pleased” With Osprey in Iraq:

The Marine Corps sent the MV-22 Osprey to Iraq last fall, as promised, for the aircraft’s first combat deployment, but news of the tilt-rotor’s performance has been muted for a reason, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway told the Defense Writers Group Feb. 1. “We have not wanted to over promise and under deliver with regards to this first Osprey deployment,” Conway said, adding that the Corps has tried to minimize the amount of news being generated about the aircraft until the deployment winds down. There will be a full after-action report from the initial deployment, Conway said. “I will tell you in the interim that we are pretty pleased with what we’re seeing,” he added. At just over the halfway point, the Osprey force, intended to replace the medium-lift CH-46s and heavy-lift CH-53Ds, has racked up more than 2,000 hours in combat, evacuation, mobility, and other missions—and has been shot at, Conway said. Readiness rates have gone up to around 75 percent in theater after some early supply chain issues with slip rings kept several aircraft grounded in the early going.