Tag: Osprey

Marines to order 24-hour stand-downs for flying units in wake of fatal crashes

Marines prepare to board MV-22 Ospreys on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island off the coast of Camp Pendleton, Calif., on Feb. 23, 2015. The Marine Corps announced Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, that all its aviation units must cease flying for a 24-hour period within the next two weeks to review safety procedures, following two recent crashes that killed 19 servicemembers.

WASHINGTON —  Marine Corps aviation units must cease flying for a 24-hour period within the next two weeks to review safety procedures following two recent Marine crashes that killed 19 troops, the service’s top general ordered Friday.

Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine commandant, has ordered aviators to review “the fundamentals of safe flight operations, standardization, and combat readiness” during the “operational reset,” said Capt. Ryan Alvis, a spokeswoman for the Corps.

“The intent is for flying squadrons to review selected incidents which occurred enterprise-wide and study historical examples of completed investigations in order to bring awareness and best practices to the fleet,” she said.

Unit commanders will determine when to conduct the stand-downs. Neller’s order instructed commanders to conduct the pause when it will not interrupt training or combat operations.

Fifteen Marines and a sailor were killed in the July 10 crash of a KC-130T tanker-transport aircraft into the Mississippi Delta. Three additional Marines died Saturday in the crash of an MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft just off the coast of Australia.

The Marines on Wednesday announced they had determined the Ospreys were safe to fly following inspections and a preliminary investigation into Saturday’s crash. In that incident, the Osprey crashed into the deck of the USS Green Bay as it was landing on the amphibious transport dock before crashing into the ocean about 18 miles off the coast of Queensland.

The three Marines killed are believed to have been trapped inside the aircraft as it sank, officials said. Twenty-three others aboard the aircraft were rescued.

In the July crash, the KC-130T appears to have broken up in mid-air before it crashed to the ground leaving two debris trails each stretching more than a mile long, an initial investigation found. All of the personnel aboard the plane were killed.

The Marines grounded its entire fleet of 12 KC-130T aircraft following the incident.
Safety stand-downs of individual airframes or for particular units are not uncommon.

Last August, the Marines ordered a similar stand-down for all F/A-18 Hornets aircraft following several crashes of the fighter jets. The Marines also temporarily grounded AV-8B Harrier and Osprey aircraft in Japan last year following non-fatal wrecks.

 

SEMPER FI

 

Thunderbirds, displays wow crowds at RAF Fairford

Airshow News NL on Twitter: “BREAKING: USAF Thunderbirds confirmed flying Royal International Air Tattoo 2017! #RIAT17 #USAF #Fairford #F16.

RAF FAIRFORD, England — The United States Air Forces in Europe celebrated the service’s 70th anniversary with one of the largest displays of military aircraft in recent years at the annual Royal International Air Tattoo airshow.

“We are hugely privileged that RAF Fairford is the one place in Europe where USAFE has said ‘This is where we’re going to celebrate our birthday,’ ” said Andy Armstrong, chief executive officer of the RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises.

More than 157,000 people arrived from nearby campsites and hour-long traffic queues Saturday. Ticketholders crowded the showgrounds while others swarmed nearby viewing areas around the base perimeter and throughout the countryside to appreciate and photograph static and aerial displays of 236 different aircraft from 29 nations.

“We invite the nations’ air arms from all across the world and we give them a great time when they come here,” Armstrong said. “The more we do that, the bigger this show will become.”

Airmen gave away freebies and guided tours around static displays of current U.S. military aircraft such as the B-1 and B-52 bombers, F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, CV-22B Osprey and many more. The U.S. Navy showcased maritime patrol aircraft P-8A Poseidon.

This year’s show also saw a performance by the Thunderbirds for the first time in a decade.

“It’s a great opportunity. We’re the Air Force’s ambassadors in blue and part of our mission is to represent the Air Force to the world and what better place than RIAT,” Thunderbirds pilot Maj. Whit Collins said. “At least 29 of the world’s different air forces are here at this tradeshow and get to see the flying performance and precision of the United States Air Force.”

Tension built minutes before the Thunderbirds’ scheduled performance as some questioned whether they would perform under a low cloud ceiling of around 1,500 feet.

Along the flight line people packed into grassy areas and filled stands while military pilots from around the world strutted to restricted viewing areas and company VIPs emerged from private pavilions.

Suddenly, Joe Satriani’s song “Surfing with an Alien” began playing over the loudspeakers as the Thunderbirds took off. They then stole the show with their aerial expertise.

“It’s really cool to be able to show-off what our Air Force is capable of to a world stage,” Collins said.

Source: Stars and Stripes.

 

Air Power Conference and RIAT Draw Air Force Decision Makers

AINonline, by Chris Pocock, June 19 2017

Two major events in the UK next month will see the largest gathering this year of senior air force personnel from around the globe. The Royal Air Force (RAF) Air Power Conference in London on July 12 and 13 will offer expert speakers and discussion forums on a theme of 21st Century partnerships. Many attendees will then head for the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford from July 14th to 16th, a public airshow spectacular that is also a venue for corporate hospitality.

Leaders from 25 air forces have already booked to attend the Air Power Conference, and at least 10 more are expected. The RAF has a reputation for “punching above its weight”, so delegates will be anxious to hear from its senior leaders on how the service is mounting continued operations in the Middle East and elsewhere, while coping with a constrained budget. But there will also be speakers from academia, industry, other air forces, and non-government organizations (NGOs), in a program that has been devised by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), the respected UK defense think-tank.

This will be a unique gathering that promises two days of intense and informative debate,” said RAF Air Vice-Marshall Michael Wigston, assistant chief of the Air Staff. “We live in an era of instability and rapid change. This tests our existing partnerships and encourages new ones,” he continued.

But although top brass will lead the discussions, lower-ranking airmen within the RAF will be encouraged to participate from afar. The Air Power Conference will be live-streamed to RAF stations, and questions and comments from there will be encouraged. This is in the spirit of a recent initiative that the service has named “Thinking to Win”, after admitting that, “we lack an innovation culture; we don’t capitalize on training and education as well as we could; and we don’t have a clear goal that everyone understands.” AVM Wigston described the initiative as “a license to challenge that has really taken root.”

Another RAF initiative that will feature at the conference is the Rapid Capability Office (RCO) that the service recently created. It is supposed to bring new technologies into service in a faster, more streamlined fashion. A new company that could benefit from that approach will be speaking. The London-based tech startup named Improbable will discuss how powerful high-end meta-system modeling can be used for simulation, targeting and resilience planning. There will also be a speaker from the Defence Entrepreneurs Forum (DEF), an organization that aims to bring “disruptive thinking” to the military world.

The theme for this year’s RIAT show is the 70th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force. The Thunderbirds F-16 team is making a transatlantic trip to display at the show, and there will be a big lineup of USAF aircraft, including a B-1, B-52, C-17, CV-22 Ospreys and F-22 Raptor stealth fighters.

The U-2 spyplane will also be making a rare public appearance, following the recent USAF decision to keep the high-flying jet in service indefinitely. Military aircraft from 17 other countries are also scheduled to appear at the show.

AIN is a media partner to the Air Power Conference, which is organized by the Air Power Association. To view the whole program and to book visit www.airpower.org.uk

Full details of the Royal International Air Tattoo may be found at www.airtattoo.com

 

NAVAIR Commander Proposes Cost Savings Strategies for F-35, V-22

Boeing V-22 Osprey.

SEAPOWER, By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor, 15 June 2017

ARLINGTON, Va. — The commander of Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) said that the Navy could save millions of dollars by use of a seven-year multiyear procurement of the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and “pulling forward” advance procurement of materials for the F-35 Lightning II strike fighter.

Regarding the idea of an economic order quantity (EOQ) for the F-35, Vice Adm. Paul A. Grosklags, testifying June 13 on the fiscal 2018 budget proposal before the Senate Armed Services seapower subcommittee, said, “What we’re specifically asking for is taking approximately 4 percent of the [fiscal] ’19 and 4 percent of the [fiscal] ’20 EOQ and pulling it forward and executing with the [fiscal] ’18 EOQ. It’s a total across all the services, about $660 million, that we would pull forward.”

U.S. Navy F-35C Lightning II

Grosklags said the move would enable “Lockheed and the other vendors to buy those long-lead materials and get the economic order quantity cost savings. What outside agencies have told us is the savings associated with pulling that money forward would be about $800 million across the three services, with the reduction in aircraft unit cost. So, it’s not additional money.

“It’s money that would already be spent in [fiscal] ’19 or [fiscal] ’20 for those lots of airplanes,” he said. “It does not commit the services nor the Congress to actually buying a set number of aircraft in those years. So, it is not a multiyear procurement. We are committing to absolutely nothing, other than a cost savings.”
Grosklags also touted the savings that could accrue with a seven-year multiyear program to complete the procurement of the Osprey.

“Typically, we ask for five years for a multiyear,” he said. “Seven years would enable us to buy the remaining total of 67 Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force aircraft that are currently in the three services’ plans, notwithstanding increasing the Marine Corps requirement. Otherwise, if we just got the five-year multiyear, we would have about 20-plus aircraft hanging out two years.

“The savings get us to 10 percent per aircraft,” he said. “We’re looking at about $650-plus millions of savings across that seven-year multiyear. It is a bit unusual to ask for seven vice five, but we think it’s justifiable giving the savings and the fact that if we leave two years hanging out at the end, those aircraft will certainly cost us more than if we were able to include them in the multiyear.”