The Case For Several More CV-22s

Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold, head of Air Force Special Operations Command, continues to advocate for building an attrition reserve for the CV-22 fleet by acquiring up to four additional aircraft beyond the current program of record for 50. AFSOC has already “dinged a few” CV-22s in use to date and it makes sense to have an attrition reserve for such a combat platform, he told reporters at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 12. However, there has been no funding programmed yet for these extra airplanes, said Heithold. The issue is whether there’s room for them in the budget given all of AFSOC’s other priorities, he said. “I continue to bring [the issue] up in front of my leadership at US [Special Operations Command],” explained Heithold. “We should think very hard about building an attrition reserve” before the V-22 production line shutters and it’s too late, he said. The CV-22 has “proven to be all that we thought it was going to be,” said Heithold. “It’s a great aircraft. It is fast. It gets into places,” he said.