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USMC Presidential Chopper Squadron to Get MV-22s

by John Reed on April 13, 2011

Here’s another piece of cool V-22 Osprey news to emerge from the Navy League’s Sea, Air, Space conference; HMX-1, the Marine Corps chopper squadron that operates the fleet of Marine One presidential transport helos is set to receive the first of what will be a fleet of 14 MV-22s, starting in 2013 .

This was revealed by Marine Col. Greg Masiello, NAVAIR’s V-22 program manager during a press briefing at the conference yesterday.

The Ospreys will likely be replacing the unit’s VH-53 Sea Stallions (shown below) which are sometimes used to transport the president’s gear and perform other utility duties for the squadron. The aging VH-53s are being pulled out of presidential support duty to return to normal cargo hauling missions until the Corps’ thinning fleet of Sea Stallions is retired in the coming years, said Col. Roger Pridgen, NAVAIR’s H-53 program manager earlier this week.

UPDATE: While Pridgen said H-53Ds during his briefing, HMX-1, as of late, flew VH-53Es, which are being sent back to the fleet.

Keep in mind that Boeing is pitching the V-22 as a potential replacement for HMX-1’s current fleet of VH-3 and VH-60 presidential transports under the revised VXX program. Hmmm, could this open the door for such a deal?

Oh yeah, Col. Masiello also noted that the very first MV-22 squadron to be based outside the United States will stand up in Okinawa in October of 2012.

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{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

Raraavis April 13, 2011 at 4:26 pm

The Osprey makes a lot of sense in the Presidential Transport Role because of it's range. The President could visit a lot of sites without even having to fire up Air Force One.


brian April 13, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Yeah the fact that it can glide and land normally would probably make it overall safer transport, I think that they will not pick a first gen system to transport the president though.


Some Texan April 14, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Perfect outside of it’s atrocious history regarding readiness and maintenance and the fact that they compromised the design in so many ways a lot of people still consider them dangerous. Overweight, undersafe, and undercapacity as far as payload.

Feel free to read about it, if you like: http://www.g2mil.com/V-22costs.htm

It’s still not fixed and MH-60s are still better aircraft that can lift more and that are still doing a LOT of the missions the V-22 was supposed to be doing because it was built wrong.


Musson April 14, 2011 at 9:09 am

Maybe we are all missing the obvious here.

Maybe this is the Joint Chief's way of getting rid of the POTUS.


kim April 14, 2011 at 11:05 am

Very funny….


marine6172 April 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Maybe you're missing more than a couple of screws dude.


Musson April 15, 2011 at 10:11 am

I was hoping the President would get a flying Humvee.


Lamrani April 13, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Please note the typo in the first sentence in the third paragraph: It is VH-53D not VH-43D Sea Stallions.


FormerDirtDart April 13, 2011 at 4:48 pm

The V-22s have been slotted to replace HMX-1's CH-46Fs for some time. Only thing that seems to have changed is that the VH-56Ds , which were supposed to be replaced by -56Ks, are now just going away??


moose April 13, 2011 at 8:14 pm

They might be getting more V-22s as part of the trade.


AA Cunningham April 13, 2011 at 11:44 pm

the VH-56(sic)Ds , which were supposed to be replaced by -56(sic)Ks



FormerDirtDart April 13, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Yes, of course, thanks. I'd fix it, but the edit feature is unavailable after someone replies to a comment.


tomatojuice April 13, 2011 at 5:07 pm

In other news… Instead of old aging helos, they can fly away faster from aliens shooting out the white house. I.E. ID4


Brian April 13, 2011 at 5:55 pm

They better fireproof the White House lawn.


guest July 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm

better trim back some of the trees too, the prop wash is a killer, oh wait not a bad….


Chops April 13, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Isn't there a fleet of 9 brand new choppers sitting in storage right now?Way to be fiscally responsible—what B S……..


moose April 13, 2011 at 8:17 pm

The disposition of those 9 choppers haven't been decided yet. They're configured for VIP transport, and will probably get used in that role (by someone). These Ospreys are for hauling equipment and support personnel.


Chops April 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm

So I guess that the Marines and Air Force have gotten the planes that they ordered and now the spares they have can be sent to Andrews to be flying station wagons.At 400 mil. per chopper it must be nice to have those brand new choppers sitting there doing nothing while they take Ospreys destined for the troops to haul luggage and diplomats.Someone needs to rethink this and worry about the soldiers in combat having what they need first.


Chops April 13, 2011 at 9:02 pm

The Ospreys should go to the combat units first–not to Andrewss to haul luggage and diplomats.The troops come first.


jamesb101 April 13, 2011 at 9:45 pm


Augusta Westland 101"s….


chuckI April 14, 2011 at 8:51 am

NIH it was looked at and is a very good bird.


Jacob April 13, 2011 at 8:20 pm

If you absolutely need a tiltrotor for the president, I'd say go with the BA609 instead. The one major design issue with the V-22 during its development was too much weight and not enough engine power to compensate for it. The BA609 has a smaller airframe and should be more stable in flight as well as easier to maintain.


blight April 14, 2011 at 7:21 am

Agreed, but then there's the question if the BA609 has the room for the limited doodads the helicopters at present carry.


chuckI April 14, 2011 at 8:55 am

1 of the requirement is that the President has to be able to stand up straight in side the aircraft. So no UH60, etc.


Musson April 14, 2011 at 9:06 am

Southwest Airlines has proved that a single airframe choice can save a xload of $.


Stephen Russell April 13, 2011 at 8:46 pm

VH43 Reuses:
Air Tours over Hawaii
Air Cargo runs to Mtns IE Rockies, Sierra Nevs Range etc.
Firefighting wilderness
SWAT PD Use for Unit.
Harbor defense
IF airframe reusable & new engines installed etc for Civil use.


Stephen Russell April 13, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Pres MV22 Features?
Extended fueslage
EW Comm Pods
defense pods
mid air refuelling.
& std MARINE 1 colors.

Museumize the Sikorsky S67 types.


Chops April 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Why would you delete my comment ?


Chops April 13, 2011 at 9:04 pm

The site administrator will not allow my comments./So much for freedom of speech you bums


FormerDirtDart April 13, 2011 at 11:53 pm

You're a moron. Corporations have no requirement to allow free expression on their property.


Chops April 14, 2011 at 12:06 am

I know, I just go a little ticked off–I was arguing about their need for this eqpt. while the Air Force and Marines are still waiting for their Ospreys for Combat needs.


******** April 14, 2011 at 9:23 am

Yeah but its still funny that a corporation that operates under and fights to use the freedom of speech doesnt allow others to use it..lol


karlito caliente April 13, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I think there was a typo it is the VH-53 and not VH-43… is that correct?
Also, the gliding characteristics of the osprey are… limited. It can't really land it its "airplaine" configuration because the prop arcs extend beyond the lower limit of the fuselage by several feet. Also to whoever posted the fireproofing the lawn comment… that is a great point. At one point they were having problems with extended exhaust from the engines warping deck plates ( several inch thick steel) on amphib landing ships so the presidential lawn might get fried if they ever do decide to utilize this platform for the President.


jamesb101 April 13, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Straight up…..This is shoving the MV-22 right down the throat of the White House…..


jamesb101 April 13, 2011 at 9:51 pm

You wannna save money people…

Let 'The Man' ride in the 101's…
They are paid for….
They fly faster, further and are bigger than anything Sikorsky will offer…
They are about 30 years younger than what the President is flying in…

They can be on line in less than 6 months….
NOT 6 years and billions of dollars more….

Everybody here is chomping at the bit…
But the fact that Obama and Gates deep sixed the 101's is a disgrace….


Gregory Savage April 14, 2011 at 8:43 am

So they are bigger then a 53? They fly farther too? Check your facts please.


******** April 14, 2011 at 9:28 am

maybe you should check ur facts the president doesnt fly in a 53.. James was reffering to the fact that the V-22 is being shopped as a replacement for Marine One.. the 53's being replaced in this article are support helicopters.. "context" you should learn how to understand it before you try to flame on others for posting a comment that was actually a smart one..


Musson April 14, 2011 at 9:08 am

But – that is so last century. Obama needs to be kept in the style he has become accustomed to.


Jeff Fraser April 13, 2011 at 10:31 pm

While I think the Osprey is the coolest thing since sliced bread… I agree. Its still working out some kinks that I think should discourage use as the POTUS transport.


Oblat April 13, 2011 at 10:36 pm

"USMC Presidential Chopper Squadron to Get MV-22s"

…to carry the Presidents luggage.

Good enough for the luggage, but you wouldn't want to risk the Presidents dog in one.


jamesb101 April 13, 2011 at 11:51 pm


I'm going let everyone know something…..

Obama has rode in the MV-22…..
Actually ywice in Afghanistan…..

While he was a Senator folks…. http://defensetech.org/2008/07/23/obama-mv-22-fli


jamesb101 April 13, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Sorry about the spelling…..

It's 'twice.'….


jamesb101 April 13, 2011 at 11:53 pm

check the link…..It's from this site…..and there is a picture….


AA Cunningham April 13, 2011 at 11:56 pm

Soetoro flew in an Osprey several times while touring the Middle East while he was a candidate as did McCain. Rumsfeld, Gates, Petraeus, McChrystal et al have all flown aboard MV-22s. If it's good enough for people who don't hide their birth certificates then the community organizer can fly on one too.


kim April 14, 2011 at 11:15 am

Still Potus shouldn't use Ospreys until much later – say 10 years from now – when their safety record hopefully will be well etablished.

Then again, Prez Kennedy rode a fairly new Lincoln convertible when the CIA wanted him dead.


UNK April 14, 2011 at 8:20 am

Lockheed Martin had a government contract to develop a new fleet of presidential helicoptesr for the Marines, and this President cancelled the contract soon after his inauguration stating what he had was good enough.


******** April 14, 2011 at 9:32 am

The best part is they have 6 of those aircraft completed,paid for and just sitting in a warehouse with really no plans to ever use them after we paid billions for them to be used by our President..


Bob April 14, 2011 at 8:59 am

More wasted taxpayer money. We have a 14 trillion dollar deficit! Let him ride in his old chopper as I ride in my old truck. Want to help balance the budget? If so, STOP ALL FOREIGN AID immediately until we are solvent and even then, do it for good reason, on the cheap and make sure the money is spent as we wish it to be.


Steve April 14, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Bob, Yeah we got a 14 trillion deficit, but who is gonna make us pay it back, huh?
If paying it back weakens us even further and strenghtens the one who lent us the money – who just so happens to be the most likely future conventional or even nuclear opponent, I surely aint giving no money to anyone who could use it against us.


blight April 14, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Foreign aid is already being cut from State Department. It's apparently unpatriotic to take military foreign aid out of the defense department.


Musson April 14, 2011 at 9:07 am

In level flight – the Osprey is much much safer than a standard rotary wing aircraft.
It's the quick landings that are dangerous. The slow ones are not.


george April 14, 2011 at 9:36 am

Retired. Let the Pres ride in my old truck and I would be glad to ride in his old chopper


blight April 14, 2011 at 10:39 am

Today: "The Ospreys will likely be replacing the unit’s VH-43D Sea Stallions…"

Tomorrow: "Keep in mind that Boeing is pitching the V-22 as a potential replacement for HMX-1’s current fleet of VH-3 and VH-60 presidential transports"

The idea of standardizing to the V-22 is rather tempting…


Chops April 14, 2011 at 11:46 am

Actually my post was about the brand new Marine One Choppers sitting in a hangar at a cost of 400 mil. each and they are going to take Ospreys from front line units to haul luggage and personnel.This is the comment they wouldn't let me post yesterday.


Safetyninja April 14, 2011 at 11:52 am

Notice that these V-22s are to be used in the support role. They will not be landing on the whitehouse lawn. A CH-53 was landed at the whitehouse once and the rotor wash blew away a tea party set up for the first lady at the time. That put the kabosh on the 53s being used for personnel transport picking up POTUS at the whitehouse. Now, the V-22 puts out more downwash than the CH-53. karlito caliente: The V-22 cannot glide and land like a normal fixed wing aircraft. The nacels have to be rotated up.


YanniT April 14, 2011 at 12:27 pm

With the nacelles up at 45 degrees it sure can glide and land like a fixed wing aircraft. I believe that was the point that was trying to be made.

In an emergency the nacelles can be left forward and the blades will broomstraw upon impact.


blight April 14, 2011 at 10:08 pm

I guess our people can fast-rope out of the Osprey in their expensive suits.



FormerDirtDart April 14, 2011 at 12:02 pm

My guess is that his comment timed out as he typed it. It's happened to me before. Military.com has been pretty permissive in letting moronic comments post And, given "Chops" brief description of his missing comment, the "Timing out" seems most likely to me.


Josh April 14, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Amazing only ONE person out of all commenters seemed to actually read the story. The MV-22 will not be carrying the President. It'll simply be a transport for support gear.


Jeff April 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Josh – If YOU read all the way to the bottom of the article it says Boeing is pitching the V-22 as potential replacements for the VH-3 and VH-60, which DO transport the President himself. While V-22s are only going to transport support gear for now, the article mentions Boeing's vision of a V-22 Marine One. I'm pretty sure that's what the commenters were opining about.


Charlie April 15, 2011 at 11:19 am

There is no way they can land the V22 at the Whtie House. It was tried and blew the whole place away. The landing area is way too tight for this aircraft as well. When he travels the party takes several helos worth of "stuff and people" and this is what these V22s are to be used for.


Some Texan April 15, 2011 at 8:00 pm

…Until they crash too much/develop unrepairable fatigue cracks in the airframes and get mothballed/scavenged for spare parts like the rest of the ospreys.


Guest April 18, 2011 at 10:54 am

It's going to be on the "Green Side" only, I'm sure if they're replacing the 53's


Steve April 14, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Well, you aint.


shawn April 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm

You people really think you know so damn much my gosh shut up and think before you post…The HMK-1 is the marines Corps chopper squadron that operates the fleet of Marine One presidential transport helos is set to receive the first of what will be a fleet of 14 MV-22s, starting in 2013.

The V-22s are replacing the current HMK-1 fleet, which includes transport of the president as well as carrying gears and such, The reason for this is the current fleet made up of VH-43D Sea Stallions and VH-53Ds etc etc.. is being replaced because of bein in service for around 47 years, and the airframes in those planes are old.

Its not just for the president so grow up and find somewhere else to rant and throw hatred at, Just cause you personally dont like the president doesnt mean you should constantly bag him on issues you clearly have no insight to, Go to a different country then.

In my own opinion i would rather have a reliable plane to carry equipments and personnel around rather then leave it up to faith on some old worn down plane, that could do more harm then it could help.


Guest April 18, 2011 at 10:56 am

and VH-46, not 43.


Richard April 14, 2011 at 2:52 pm

It would be nice to hear the real maintainers (Marine's and USAF) and Air Crew opinion's on the Pro's and Con's on the V-22's instead opinion's/theory/facts. True it's more of a fix wing than Rotary Wing type. Retired 40 yrs, 5 platforms on Rotary Wings.


Bobby April 16, 2011 at 9:46 am


The V-22 is a good, versatile aircraft. However, in my opinion, we will have a difficult time performing some of the functions that we currently perform. The V-22 is a huge beast of an aircraft, and the rotorwash is something fierce. There are several tight LZs that we use throughout the US that will be difficult to fit in with the V-22. Not to mention the heat that is generated from the engines. When the Aircraft is on the ground, stand a good chance of burning up tarmacs, grass, astro-turf, etc. This is where the CH-46 shines. Very versatile, small and can carry enough people. The Marine Corps is going to have a hard time finding an aircraft that can stand up to the Phrog's performance.


Richard April 16, 2011 at 9:03 pm

I can concur with you on the CH-46. We use to have HH-3E's that work well for a Rescue platform, smaller than the HH-53's or the HH-53 IV Pave-Lows that came out. Now I'm dating myself lol. The H-3's bottom side had a hull structure for floating on water if needed, air refueling capabilities, but would of been nice if they would of upgraded the engines, main and tail gear boxes and rotor systems and to include advance avionic equipment to include anti- ballistic crew seats,panels,ramp and few other area's for combat mission. The used these in the Vietnam War. The Gov. could just buy less V-22's for troop movement and upgraded the H-3's instead of giving/or selling them to the other countries. The speed of getting there will not make a difference, our American people should not be those countries if we had to bail them out. We have fighters (jets) Navy,Marines, and USAF supposedly with precision bombing for the rapid force LOL. Now we have un-maned aircraft with weapons. I guess they forget about our ground forces going in the battle?


Guest April 18, 2011 at 11:00 am

I've actually worked on the Ch-53D and V-22. I love them both and know that in the role they will be utilized by HMX, it will be a good fit.


jamesb101 April 14, 2011 at 10:44 pm


Obama actually rode in one as a Senator…
I stated that the Secret Service peobably won't let Obama ride in another one due to the a/c's history….

Someone just pointed out that the MV-22 has a bigger footprint then the MH-53?


Guest April 18, 2011 at 11:02 am

V-22 footprint isn't even close to a 53. Rotor tip to rotor tip, however is very close.


charles April 20, 2011 at 9:12 am

The V-22 has a slightly heavier footprint that the 53. Footprint meaning how heavy it is in empty weight. Of course the 53 can lift three times more, so its gross weight is much heavier.


Willie April 14, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Blight. The Army was the lead developer for the V-22, but its experts found out that the tiltrotor concept was BS since it has less than half the range airplanes and a third the payload of similar size helos. The Army bailed early, the Navy later, and only the hardheaded Marines stayed with this turd. The more it fails, the more their dedication to it.


Richard April 15, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Right on Willie, i heard that years ago, that's why USAF has not really decided on a Rescue platform except for special Op's. for only to get the Army or Marine to rapid deployment. Most of the Aircrew i use to fly with (USAF) opinion to include other units, people (aircrew), who i talk with did not care for the V-22. The HH-53's could do the same thing, they have air refueling capabilities for the distance.


Bobby April 16, 2011 at 9:38 am

First off, We have not had the CH-53D at HMX for several years. The 53D served at HMX from 67- 97 The CH-53E was picked up around early 1997. As of this week, the remaining CH53Es have been transferred to another unit for training and redistribution to serve Heavy Lift missions for the Marine Corps. In its place, HMX had picked up additional CH-46 (Phrogs) to fill the gap until such time that the V-22 (or another) aircraft arrive at HMX.


RightCowLeftCoast October 19, 2011 at 3:24 am

The V-22s have shown a good record since deploying to CENTCOM area, but why is the CH-53K or CH-47F not looked as possible Marine or Army Ones? The Chinook has a good service record, as does the Sea Stallion which the enlarged K is based on.

Both aircraft will have enough lift capacity needed for the additional equipment required for a Presidential Helicopter Transport.


bil January 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm

don't let Barack ride in these crash prone pieces of junk
they are only good for republican presidents to ride in


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Curt April 14, 2011 at 3:06 am

I wouldn't put a lot of faith in anything on G2mil. Having said that, the requirement that Boeing has discussed proposing the V-22 for was, at least for the latest thought on the new helicopter, the long range escape aircraft role. There were two aircraft, one a VIP Helicopter to do all the normal stuff, and then a couple of aircraft that would be based across the river that would only be used in the event that the President had to be rapidly evacuated from the White House to an undisclosed safe location. Say for a nuclear attack. It would only land on the WH Lawn once and no one would complain about the damage. Different roles, different aircraft.


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