Chinook News
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Iraqi Special Forces get Osprey Support

By Petty Officer 2nd Class Jimmy Pan

Osprey

Photo by Seaman Kelvin Edwards, Navy Visual News Service

The CV-22 Osprey, the world's first tilt-rotor aircraft, supported Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) during a recent early-morning mission in the Iraqi capital.

Osprey

Photo by Seaman Kelvin Edwards, Navy Visual News Service

The Osprey performed its first mission in support of an operation to apprehend suspected terrorists. Although the new aircraft was flown by U.S. Air Force personnel, the troops and mission were led by the elite ISOF Soldiers.

"Initially, I think that they [ISOF Soldiers] were a little leery of the new aircraft," the Air Force pilot who flew the Osprey during the mission said. "But after using it for the mission, I think we have made the ISOF Soldiers believers in the Osprey."

For take-off and landing, the Osprey operates as a helicopter. However, during flight, it operates as a turboprop airplane. The advanced aircraft, named after a bird of prey also known as the Sea Hawk, can transport 24 Soldiers, 20 thousand pounds of internal cargo or 15 thousand pounds of external cargo. These capabilities provide ISOF and U.S. Special Operations Forces with a fast yet versatile infiltration platform.

Osprey

Photo by Seaman Kelvin Edwards, Navy Visual News Service

The mission partnered with the Iraqi troops was a resounding success.

"The ISOF was positioned at the exact drop-off point they have coordinated [and] they were able to quickly prosecute their target," the Air Force pilot said.

The elite Iraqi team successfully detained two individuals and seized a large weapons cache during the mission.

As U.S. forces have withdrawn from major Iraqi cities, ISOF Soldiers have taken the lead in the fight against terrorists. U.S. forces continue to train and support their colleagues in the ISOF as outlined in the U.S./Iraq Security Agreement that went into effect, Jan. 1. The addition of the Osprey provides Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Arabian Peninsula and its partners with another capability to defend the people of Iraq from terrorist groups.

Osprey

Photo by Seaman Kelvin Edwards, Navy Visual News Service

"All of the missions I have flown since arriving in theater are very important, with all the missions assisting in stabilizing Iraq and helping solidify the sovereignty of the Iraqi government," the Air Force pilot concluded.

The ISOF Soldiers were proud of the successful mission and grateful to the Osprey crew for their assistance. They especially appreciated the ride up, the hover down and the flight home. (Sept. 2009)