The USMC wants 38 Amphib Asault ships....the USN says 30.....the Navy Combat folks want 500 ships....the budget folks say 300. The 300 ship fleet contains 66 Submarines and 32 Amphib Assault ships. Congress is holding hearings on all this.
This shall be a very interesting Hearing Process....it shall pit the Navy directly against the USMC....and both against the DOD and Congress ws the Budget Axe is going to have to fall upon some Sacred Cows.
Over the Horizion again will be discussed and the cost of the Osprey Program will yet again hit the skyline..
A 300 Ship Navy with the expected construction rate for new Ships is too small to support the Shipyards thought critical to the National Defense needs.
Pull up a comfy chair....get out your Beer and Popcorn....this is going to be an interesting couple of Months. The Liberal Democrats are going to want to cut the Defense Budget far more than they have....the Republicans are going to try to keep as strong a Military as it can.....but the inability of Congress to agree on a Budget (none in three years under the Obama Administration and control of the Senate by the Democrats) has launched draconian cuts on the Defense Budget. Something will have to give.....either in the way of Programs, Ships, Aircraft.....or an agreement within Congress to raise the Defense budget.
I bet we see a smaller Osprey fleet....a growing reluctance to build the new Aviation Support Ship (think Osprey Carrier)....fewer F-35's....and a real debate over OTH in the guise of Amphib/Surface Warfare capability for the USN/USMC....dictated by a decision on what percentage of the Ships will be Amphib's. It would appear at the outset that Eight Amphib ships will have to be cut from the mix....which ones will they be and how does that affect the Osprey Program?
Which potential task....Amphibious Assault.....or Counter-Terrorism/Freedom of the Sea missions will take priority? Do we really need our Navy to dedicate over Ten Percent of our fleet units to Amphibious Warfare?
I am against claiming to have the capability, spending Tens of Billions of Dollars on equipment that doesn't work....altering ship designs to fit aircraft while eliminating the seaborne capability of the vessels at the same time....and in the end....not...not....repeat not have the stated OTH capability.
The Navy/USMC would not want me sitting on the Congresional Committees overseeing their acquisition process right now. I would want real capability for money spent.....and the pipe dream of a hydroplaning armored amphibious tractor would never have gotten my unlimited support as it did.
Removing the Well decks from the new LHA class to make it a Osprey Carrier would not have passed Go either.
Amphib ships have always had the flexibility to support all phases of Amphibious assault....sea and air....with LST's being beacheable. Under the current approach....we now will have LHA's with no ability to handle boats, LCAC's, or Amtracs....which is a loss of capability....all due to the requirements imposed by the fielding of the MV-22. The new AFV died....leaving us with the old style AFV which will not work for OTH. I see all this as a net loss of capability at a huge cost in Tax Dollars.
That is what I am against....and a bunch of military bureaucrats, politicians, and industrial complex members getting filthy rich in the process.
Eisenhower warned us about this!
The very technology you mention itself puts and end to Amphibious Assault as we know it. The Marines cling to Amphibious Assault as a means to substantiate its continued existence.
The question is not whether we need a Marine Corps and Amphibious Assault capability but how much capability. I understand the arguments but I see a real limit to what can be done with the state of the budget.
UPDATED: Israeli Air Force Flew In CV-22 When In US; UAE May Be First Foreign Sale
Last week's crash in Morocco won't slow down the V-22 Osprey program, which in 2013 can be expected to win its first foreign sale and is poised for visible growth over the next two years, the Marine colonel in charge of it made clear in a media briefing here.
Col. Greg Masiello, V-22 program manager for the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), said in a Monday briefing at the annual Navy League Sea Air and Space conference that 2012 will see the Marine Corps stand up two V-22 squadrons of 12 aircraft each in Okinawa and the Air Force Special Operations Command establish one of its own at Royal Air Force Mildenhall in England.
Neither Masiello nor John Rader, vice president for tiltrotor programs for Boeing Co., who also spoke at the briefing, would identify the foreign nation they think might buy Ospreys beginning in 2013, but we understand the United Arab Emirates could be the first.
Another strong possibility is Israel. When the head of the Israeli Air Force visited the US last week, he flew in the special operations version of the Osprey, the CV-22, we hear. The Jerusalem Post reported that he flew in a V-22, not specifying which version of the aircraft. Last year, Israeli air force pilots received training and flew demonstration flights in the V-22 at Marine Corps Air Station New River near Jacksonville, N.C. Japan's military also has expressed interest in the Osprey in the past.
Boeing and its 50-50 partner in the Osprey, Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. of Texas, have added incentive to seek foreign sales because the number of Ospreys they produce each year is to fall dramatically under a new five-year contract the companies have agreed to, Masiello noted. In 2013, he added, HMX-1, the squadron that flies the president's Marine One helicopter, will begin receiving 12 Ospreys that will be used to haul cargo and passengers -- including Secret Service agents, White House staff and the news media -- during presidential trips.
"They'll be the only aircraft there in that support in capacity," Masiello said of the Ospreys to be assigned to HMX-1, which will continue to use the familiar white-topped Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. VH-3D helicopter to carry the president. The Ospreys, which tilt two huge wingtip rotors upward to take off and land like a helicopter and swivel them forward to fly like an airplane, are to replace CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters that HMX-1 currently uses for so-called "green missions."
Noting that the Marine Corps version of the Osprey, the MV-22, is now cleared to land on and fly from big deck aircraft carriers following test landings on the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) in March, Masiello said he also thinks the chances are good that the Navy will soon begin buying 48 V-22s that have been in its long-range budget plans for years, perhaps to replace the aging C-2A Greyhound fixed-wing aircraft it uses to deliver cargo and personnel to carriers.
Masiello said he had read a recent Navy analysis of alternatives of the issue that hasn't been released and it "reflects a shift in the cultural mindset" toward the Osprey.
NAVAIR expects to sign a five-year fixed-price contract with Bell-Boeing before the end of the year under which the government would buy 91 MV-22s for the Marine Corps, which wants 360 in all, and seven CV-22s for the Air Force, which is planning a fleet of 50 Ospreys, the Marine colonel said. A foreign sale or a sale to the Navy or both would help Bell-Boeing keep the cost of those additional Ospreys down.
The terms of the new multiyear contract haven't been announced, but under the existing five-year deal, which began in fiscal 2008, the Marines are paying about $67 million per Osprey and the Air Force, whose CV-22s carry secret special operations gear, is paying about $78 million.
Boeing executive Rader said that while the production rate will plunge from a peak of 40 Ospreys under the existing contract to a first-year rate of 21 under the new deal, Bell and Boeing "have committed to the government" to keep prices low enough to produce the 10 percent savings over equivalent annual contracts Congress requires in such multiyear deals. Undersecretary of Defense Frank Kendall said in a letter to Congress last month that the new V-22 contract will save $852 million compared to what it would cost to buy the 98 aircraft involved in annual contracts.
Masiello said that in addition to attracting interest among potential new customers, the Osprey fleet made significant improvements in calendar year 2011 to its operating cost and reliability rate. The cost per flight hour, now about $10,000, dropped 13 percent in 2011, he said, while readiness rates improved 19 percent.
Masiello declined to comment on the crash last week of an Osprey from Marine Corps squadron VMM-261, based at New River, during a bilateral military exercise in Morocco, killing two enlisted crew chiefs and seriously injuring two pilots. In answer to a question as to why the rest of the V-22 hasn't been grounded, though, he said that while the accident is still under investigation, "We have nothing right now that would lead us to have any lack of confidence" in the Osprey.
AOL Defense reported Friday that the accident occurred in clear weather as the tiltrotor transport, which takes off and lands like a helicopter but flies like an airplane, was departing a landing zone after dropping off some troops.
I am against claiming to have the capability, spending Tens of Billions of Dollars on equipment that doesn't work....
What doesn't work?
altering ship designs to fit aircraft while eliminating the seaborne capability of the vessels at the same time
Concur with your point on well decks, moving stuff by floating it in is an option unwise to delete in seaborne operations. Question is, when you have one LPD, on LHA, and one LHD, do none of them have a well deck? I'd need to go and see, but most Amphibious task groups are mixed ... for a variety of reasons.
I would want real capability for money spent.....and the pipe dream of a hydroplaning armored amphibious tractor would never have gotten my unlimited support as it did.
Didn't they cancel that recently? Or are you referring to the LCAC's ?
Amphib ships have always had the flexibility to support all phases of Amphibious assault....sea and air....with LST's being beacheable.
LST's haven't been in the inventory for quite some time. Try not to fight the 70's war.
We now will have LHA's with no ability to handle boats, LCAC's, or Amtracs....which is a loss of capability.
Aye. Concur with your view on that.
The new AFV died....leaving us with the old style AFV which will not work for OTH. I see all this as a net loss of capability at a huge cost in Tax Dollars.
What it actually points to is a change in capability. Not convinced that "net loss" is an airtight argument. Increase in cost? Yes.
There were Marines I worked with in the 80's and 90's who found the reliance on slow amphibious targets/tractors to be an attempt to fight the last war. There were Marines I worked with on flag level staffs who were bound and determined to get that expensive luxury, the tank, out of the USMC inventory.
Opinions are like navels ...
By the way, a whole lot of that amphibious equipment has gone unused in Iraq Afghanistan
But where is it needed next? There's theoretically nowhere on earth that the USMC might not be called to do something, save possibly the South Pole.
Putting together the kit to meet that mission requirement won't be cheap. Flexibility is expensive.
V-22 is one way to give the operational commander flexibility.
Originally Posted by sans
In 2013, he added, HMX-1, the squadron that flies the president's Marine One helicopter, will begin receiving 12 Ospreys that will be used to haul cargo and passengers -- including Secret Service agents, White House staff and the news media -- during presidential trips.
Carrying Colombian strippers might be the kind of flexibility a local commander needs!
The AFV Program was cancelled. Thus no OTH swim ashore Amtrac's. Which if one argues OTH as it was presented with the Osprey, LCAC, and AFV....there just isn't OTH currently.
LST's went away when the LCAC arrived but landing directly to the beach with heavy cargo, tanks, (now Amtracs), large groups of personnel, artillery....fuel....ammo....still remains necessary if one wishes to support a beach head. Helicopters and Ospreys cannot do the task without the beach landing capability of the LCAC.
Nix the well deck....and you nix that capability and must have the conventional LHA and the new Air Only LHA....which means either more ships or less capability and for sure less flexibility.
The Navy/USMC wrote themselves a Specification they cannot meet.
The Navy/USMC wrote themselves a Specification they cannot meet.
Or, that they revised. Take a look at what happened to Paladin and Crusader in the field artillery world. Every so often, the requirement that has been the bedrock of an acquisition program .... changes.
(The USN's helicopter minesweeping capability is one such)
Also, FWIW, "Beachhead' seems to have become a word that is used less and less often in expeditionary warfare.
Put another way, they've changed their minds, and in a different way, have made an argument that "they have changed with the times."
Not sure that's an airtight argument, but it is usable.
Boeing is offering a version of its CH-47 Chinook transport helicopter as a possible replacement for the Israeli air force's Sikorsky CH-53 fleet, as the service is also showing continued interest in the Bell Boeing V-22 tiltrotor.
The air force has previously outlined plans to continue operating its existing CH-53s until it can acquire Sikorsky's new-generation CH-53K, now under development for the US Marine Corps.
Boeing's promotion of the Chinook is defined as a "capability presentation", with the manufacturer claiming that the type represents the best available replacement for Israel's upgraded CH-53s. Sources have referred to the aircraft on offer as being a CH-47G, with this suggesting that some capabilities could be comparable with the US Special Operations Command's MH-47Gs.
At this stage the Israeli air force does not have the budget for a CH-53 replacement, but sources say that a decision will have to made in the next three or four years due to the age of its current assets.
The air force also has an additional operational requirement for the V-22, with the service's commander, Maj Gen Ido Nehushtan, having flown on the type during a visit to the USA.
Israeli pilots and technical experts completed a thorough evaluation of the V-22 at US Marine Corps facilities last year, with their report having favoured the purchase of an undisclosed number to perform special mission operations.
The air force had wanted to include the V-22 in a new multi-year plan for the Israeli defence forces. That plan has not yet been approved, because of a major budget dispute between the nation's defence and finance ministries.
OFF THE COAST OF MOROCCO – Marines and sailors from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group gathered together to honor Cpl. Derek Kerns and Cpl. Robby Reyes during a memorial ceremony aboard the USS Iwo Jima April 18.
Kerns and Reyes died during a training accident in Morocco, April 11, when the MV-22 Osprey they were flying in crashed while participating in the bi-lateral training exercise called African Lion 12. Both Marines were crew chiefs with the 24th MEU’s aviation element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron VMM-261 (Reinforced), based out of Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C.
The memorial took place in the ship’s hangar bay, where Marines and Sailors stood in formation centered around photos of the two Marines against the backdrop of a clear sky and blue water.
Two of Kerns’ and Reyes’ fellow crew chiefs shared a few words and stories about their friends during the ceremony.
Lance Cpl. Michael Garrison, who had known Kerns since air crew school, described him to the crowd as a “skinny kid from Jersey who always had a story for everything that was going on.”
“I knew him for three-and-a-half years; it doesn’t seem real,” said Garrison. “He was an outstanding friend, an outstanding father, husband, crew chief and brother to everybody. There was never a down time with him; he was always happy.” Cpl. Lucas Schmidt stepped to the podium and explained that Reyes “wasn’t the kind of guy who stuck out in a crowd. And that’s the way he liked it.”
He described his friend by informing the Marines and sailors that Reyes extended his enlistment to remain a VMM-261 “Raging Bull” for the current 24th MEU deployment, and that when others complained about what seemed like meaningless work, Reyes would roll with it and laugh it off.
“I will never forget him, and we could all learn a thing or two from a man like Robby Reyes,” said Schmidt.
Toward the end of the ceremony, Sgt. Maj. Ricky Jackson, the senior enlisted Marine for VMM-261 (reinforced), marched front and center of his Marines, stood at attention and conducted a ceremonial roll call. This procedure consisted of Marines within the unit responding to the sergeant major as he called their names. When Jackson called Kerns’ and Reyes’ names, there was only silence.
Roll call was followed by the playing of taps and a three-shot-volley rifle salute.
Lt. Col. Brian Smith Jr., the commanding officer of VMM-261 (reinforced), who had flown recently with both Kerns and Reyes, honored them by defining a crew chief’s role in the Marine Corps.
Airplanes require constant work and it doesn’t matter whether it’s hot, cold, or raining. A crew chief’s job is extremely under-appreciated, but they’re the reason aircraft keep flying and they do it with a smile on their face, he said.
Col. Frank Donovan, commanding officer of the 24th MEU, paid homage to Kerns and Reyes by focusing the Marines and Sailors of the 24th MEU on the future.
“Today we honor them through words; tomorrow we honor them through actions,” he said.
Smith’s comments to the Marines concluded in similar fashion.
“There’s no greater way to honor Kerns and Reyes than to continue to do the things we’ve already done. Everyone counts on us, and I count on you,” he said. “The next time we do something amazing… I can look at each one of you in the eye and know that we’re honoring their memory. Because that’s exactly what they would have wanted.”
On Defense Cuts, Both Parties Are Far Out of Step With Voters
By R. Jeffrey Smith
An unusual new survey shows the average American favors cutting the Pentagon budget by $103 billion -- far more than Obama or Republicans have proposed.
While politicians, insiders, and experts may be divided over how much the government should spend on the nation's defense, there's a surprising consensus among the public about what should be done: They want to cut spending far more deeply than either the Obama Administration or the Republicans. That's according to the results of an innovative, new, nationwide survey by the Center for Public integrity, the Program for Public Consultation, and the Stimson Center. Not only does the public want deep cuts, it wants those cuts to encompass spending in virtually every military domain -- air power, sea power, ground forces, nuclear weapons, and missile defenses. According to the survey, in which respondents were told about the size of the budget as well as shown expert arguments for and against spending cuts, two-thirds of Republicans and nine in 10 Democrats supported making immediate cuts -- a position at odds with the leaderships of both political parties. The average total cut was around $103 billion, a substantial portion of the current $562 billion base defense budget, while the majority supported cutting it at least $83 billion. These amounts both exceed a threatened cut of $55 billion at the end of this year under so-called "sequestration" legislation passed in 2011, which Pentagon officials and lawmakers alike have claimed would be devastating.
"When Americans look at the amount of defense spending compared to spending on other programs, they see defense as the one that should take a substantial hit to reduce the deficit," said Steven Kull, director of the Program for Public Consultation and the lead developer of the survey. "Clearly the polarization that you are seeing on the floor of the Congress is not reflective of the American people." A broad disagreement with the Obama Administration's current spending approach -- keeping the defense budget mostly level -- was shared by 75 percent of men and 78 percent of women, all of whom instead backed immediate cuts. That view was also shared by at least 69 percent of every one of four age groups from 18 to 60 and older, although those aged 29 and below expressed much higher support, at 92 percent. Disagreement with the Obama administration's continued spending on the war in Afghanistan was particularly intense, with 85 percent of respondents expressing support for a statement that said in part, "it is time for the Afghan people to manage their own country and for us to bring our troops home." A majority of respondents backed an immediate cut, on average, of $38 billion in the war's existing $88 billion budget, or around 43 percent. Despite the public's distance from Obama's defense budget, the survey disclosed an even larger gap between majority views and proposals by House Republicans this week to add $3 billion for an extra naval destroyer, a new submarine, more missile defenses, and some weapons systems the Pentagon has proposed to cancel. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has similarly endorsed a significant rise in defense spending. When it comes to military forces, respondents on average favored at least a 27 percent cut in spending on nuclear arms -- the largest proportional cut of any in the survey. They also supported, on average, a 23 percent cut for ground forces, a 17 percent cut for air power, and a 14 percent cut for missile defenses. Modest majorities also said they favored dumping some major individual weapons programs, including the costly F-35 jet fighter, a new long-range strategic bomber, and construction of a new aircraft carrier.
"Surveyed Americans cut to considerably deeper levels than policymakers are willing to support in an election season," said Matthew Leatherman, an analyst with the Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense Project at the Stimson Center, a nonprofit research and policy analysis organization. While Republicans generally favored smaller cuts, they overwhelmingly agreed with both independents and Democrats that current military budgets are too large. A majority of Republicans diverged only on cutting spending for special forces, missile defenses, and new ground force capabilities. The survey, which was conducted in April, was designed differently than many polls on defense spending, which have asked respondents only if they support a cut. Its aim was instead to probe public attitudes more comprehensively, and so it supplied respondents with neutral information about how funds are currently being spent while exposing them to carefully drafted, representative arguments made by advocates in the contemporary debate. The respondents then said what they wished to spend in key areas. The survey's methodology and the number of respondents -- 665 people randomly selected to represent the national population -- render its conclusions statistically reliable to within 5 percent, according to the Program on Public Consultation. Somewhat surprisingly, all of the pro and con arguments about cutting defense spending attracted majority support, suggesting that respondents found many elements in the positions of each side that they considered reasonable. It also suggests that the survey fairly summarized contrasting viewpoints. Sixty-one percent agreed, for example, with a statement that the U.S. has special defense responsibilities because it is an exceptional nation, while 72 percent said the country is "playing the role of military policeman too much." Fifty-four percent agreed that cutting defense spending is problematic because it will cause job losses, while 81 percent -- in one of the largest points of consensus -- agreed with a statement that the budget had "a lot of waste" and that members of Congress regularly approve unneeded spending just to benefit their own supporters. The survey suggested, in short, that most people do not see the issue in starkly black or white terms, but instead hold complex views about the appropriate relationship between defense spending and America's role in the world. "Most Americans are able to hold two competing ideas in their mind and, unlike Congress, thoughtfully recognize the merits of both," Kull explained. "And then [they] still come to hard and even bold decisions." The survey also showed that Americans react differently when given data on the current defense budget in different contexts -- providing some insight into how partisans on each side of the debate might tailor their arguments to attract support. When framed, for example, in the context of military spending by other countries, or the portion of the so-called annual discretionary budget devoted to defense, or the amount of money spent for defense during the Cold War, most respondents said they were surprised by how large the U.S. budget is now. But when compared to the overall size of the U.S. economy, or the size of the other two leviathans in the federal budget -- spending on Medicare and Social Security - most respondents said they were not surprised. By far the most durable finding -- even after hearing strong arguments to the contrary -- was that existing spending levels are simply too high. Respondents were asked twice, in highly different ways, to say what they thought the budget should be, and a majority supported roughly the same answer each time: a cut of at least 11 to 13 percent (they cut on average 18 to 22 percent). In one exercise, a larger group chose to cut the defense budget (62 percent supported this) than to cut non-defense spending (50 percent) or to raise taxes (27 percent). They then chose to cut deeply as a means to address the deficit. In yet another exercise, respondents first read pro and con arguments for the nine major mission areas that now compose almost 90 percent of the budget; then a majority of Republicans and Democrats then selected lower levels in eight of the nine areas. For example, two-thirds of the respondents -- including 78 percent of Democrats, 64 percent of Republicans, and 57 percent of independents -- cut spending on nuclear arms. Respondents on average also sought to cut ground forces the largest dollar amount. The sole program that attracted average support for more spending was the Pentagon's effort to development new capabilities for ground forces, but the suggested increase was slight and mostly embraced by Republicans and independents. Majorities took these steps even though they expressed slightly higher support, on average, for statements in favor of these programs than critical of them. Most notably, they said they were convinced that air power is important (77 percent), special forces are valuable (79 percent), and missile-defense efforts are worth pursuing (74 percent), while giving arguments for the Navy and ground forces less backing (69 percent and 57 percent, respectively). While most programs got either a trim or a buzzcut in the public salon, several won outright support. A majority opposed cutting the controversial V-22 Osprey, an aircraft that takes off like a helicopter and flies like a plane. Even after being told its cancellation would save $1 billion, a clear majority backed its continued production. And even while most respondents favored killing the new strategic bomber, they solidly backed continuing to use bombers to carry nuclear arms as part of a "triad" of forces, alongside land- and sea-based missiles.
Whether the weight of public attitudes will be felt in Congress and the White House is unclear. As close students of Washington know, legislative outcomes are often determined not by average views but by the passionate convictions of noisy minorities. As a result, it's worth noting which arguments attracted not just support from solid majorities but high rankings as "very convincing:"
It is time to let the Afghans fend for themselves (43 percent called this very convincing). There is a lot of waste in the defense budget (39 percent very convincing). Special forces are useful and effective (36 percent very convincing). We are playing the role of world policeman too much (29 percent very convincing). Missile defenses could help defend us (27 percent very convincing). Air power is critical (26 percent very convincing). Nuclear arms serve little purpose now (26 percent very convincing). Defense spending weakens other parts of the economy (25 percent very convincing).
"Americans' views as expressed in this survey are a big reason why policymakers -- after the election -- are likely to tighten the Pentagon's strategy and cut national defense spending more deeply," said Leatherman.
HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. – All five airmen aboard a US Air Force aircraft that crashed in northwest Florida late Wednesday have been taken to the hospital, an air force spokeswoman said. Three of the airmen were flown to local hospitals and two were taken by ambulance, Master Sgt. Kristina Newton said. The nature of their injuries was not known, the Northwest Florida Daily News reported. The CV-22 Osprey crashed during a 1st Special Operations Wing training exercise about 6:45pm local time. The incident occurred on the Eglin Range, north of Navarre, Fla. Officials will investigate the accident, the public affairs office of the 1st Special Operations Wing said in a statement.
UPDATE: New details about Osprey crash released June 13, 2012 9:17 PM ShareThis| Print Story | E-Mail Story DUSTY RICKETTS / Daily News HURLBURT FIELD — Five airmen suffered non-life threatening injuries during a training exercise when their CV-22 Osprey air-craft crashed north of Navarre on the Eglin Range Wednesday evening.
Col. Jim Slife, 1st Special Operations Wing commander, held a press conference at 10:30 a.m. today to discuss the accident.
Hurlburt Field was notified at about 6:45 p.m. Wednesday that an Osprey assigned to the 1st Special Operations Wing had crashed on the Eglin Range during a routine training mission.
“This particular mission was a gunnery training mission, so it was a two aircraft formation out performing gunnery,” Slife said. “When the lead aircraft turned around in the gun pattern, they did not see their wingman behind them so they started a brief search and found they had crashed right there on the range.”
View a slideshow of the Osprey in action. »
The Osprey was found upside down and there was some fire, but it did not burn all the way to the ground.
Emergency responders from the base and Okaloosa County arrived at the scene where they found the five members of the aircrew and transported them to local hospitals.
“All five aircrew members on board the aircraft were injured to varying degrees and were transported to area hospitals,” Slife said.
Major Brian Luce, one of the pilots, was transported to Eglin Air Force Base hospital where he is listed in stable condition.
Captain Brett Cassidy, the second pilot, was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola where he is listed in stable condition.
Master Sgt. Sean McMahon, flight engineer, was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola where he is listed in guarded condition.
Tech. Sgt. Christopher Dawson, flight engineer, was transported to Eglin Air Force Base hospital where he is listed in stable condition.
Tech. Sgt. Edilberto Malave, flight engineer, was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola where he is listed in stable condition.
Slife said the Air Force has already begun a safety investigation and will conduct an accident investigation.
Upside down, not totally destroyed, and non-life threatening injuries. That's a rare combination. Can't imagine the circumstances that would lead to that.
MV-22 Osprey that crashed in Morocco was mechanically perfect
The U.S. military has found no mechanical flaw in an MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft that crashed in Morocco in April, the Defense Ministry said Friday.
This was unveiled in an outline of a report on the U.S. investigation into the accident that killed two U.S. troops, according to the ministry. The outline said there is no safety problem in the military aircraft, which makes vertical takeoffs and landings.
But it did not specify the cause of the accident and said the probe on the crash, including investigations into whether human error was a factor, will continue until late this year.
The U.S. military has not disclosed the full report, and the Japanese government was only informed of the report's conclusion.
The Osprey aircraft may be deployed at the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture as early as July.
At a press conference Friday, Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto suggested that the timing of the Osprey deployment will not be affected by the U.S. investigation.
Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said the nation will continue to seek information about the aircraft from the United States so that it can give Okinawa further details.
Story in the Pensacola News Journal states it was on a two-ship gunnery practice flight. When lead pulled off and looked back, #2 was not with them. They found the wreckage upside down a short distance away.