Hurlburt Field, Florida- One of the first groups of the US Marine Corps CV-22 Osprey aircraft has returned from its first deployment. This was the first operations deployment of the squadron from the 8th Special Operations division, and it is returning from support of Operation Flintlock 2009, held in November 2008 in Barmako, Mali.
This was a training exercise that supported Special Operations in the Trans Saharan region, and it worked to help support capacity, and build different relationships among the African nations concerning their own ability to control and patrol their sovereign territory.
The Osprey CV-22 served as a platform for different multi national training forces. It was used to transport Senegalese Special Forces and Malian Soldiers to different areas and to transport their leadership and officers as well. The exercise consisted of participation by 15 different nations, and is being considered cautiously so far a success.
The CV-22 was ran through its paces, performing vertical lift, long rang, and landing zone operations. The soldiers that were transported were able to practice movement and insertion along the ground, and then they were transported back by CV?22. Missions that are mounted such as this give the soldiers and aircrews assigned to the CV-22 the chance to work their unique capabilities as a combination tilt rotor aircraft.