First operational CMV-22B arrives at NAS North Island

The US Navy’s first operational Bell Boeing CMV-22B Osprey tiltrotor was delivered to the Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron 30 (VRM-30) “Titans” at Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island in San Diego, California, on June 22.

VRM-30 is the service’s first operational CMV-22B unit, having been established in 2018 to begin the navy’s transition from the Grumman C-2A Greyhound fixed-wing aircraft to the CMV-22B Osprey.

The C-2A Greyhound has been in service with the US Navy for four decades, providing a carrier-onboard-delivery (COD) mission and logistical support to US aircraft carriers. The new CMV-22B boasts an increased operational range and survivability, enhanced beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) systems and offers faster cargo loading/unloading.

CMV-22B [U.S. Navy/MCS2C Chelsea D Meiller] #1
Bell Boeing CMV-22B Osprey - BuNo 169437 (c/n D2003) - was the first example to be handed over to an operational US Navy squadron. The aircraft arrived at NAS North Island on June 22. US Navy/MCS2C Chelsea D. Meiller

At the handover, CMDR Trevor Hermann, commanding officer of the “Titans”, said: “Today marks our birthday as a squadron… We have relied on our Marine Corps brothers and sisters to help us in our training. Today our efforts are tangible, as you can see with the landing of our first aircraft.

“This is the instrument that will bring lethality to the fleet… Without the maintainers, air crewman and pilots, this aircraft is nothing more than carbon [fibre] and steel. We are the heart and soul of this aircraft. We are carrier-onboard-delivery, we are naval aviation and we carry the fleet,” he added.

The CMV-22B Osprey – a variant of the USMC-operated MV-22B – will be responsible for providing high priority cargo and passenger transport services in support of the US Navy’s carrier strike groups (CSGs) and other task forces. As a tiltrotor, it will take-off and land vertically – like a helicopter – but transit as a turboprop aircraft when in flight.

CMV-22B [U.S. Navy/MCS2C Chelsea D Meiller] #2
The US Navy has order a total of 48 examples of the CMV-22B. US Navy/MCS2C Chelsea D. Meiller

CAPT Dewon Chaney, commodore of the Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Wing praised the work done to deliver the aircraft. “Between COVID-19 and the aircraft delivery schedule, everyone stayed focused to deliver this chariot to us… It is so amazing that we have this capable machine to deploy in the fleet in order to develop combat lethality.”

The US Navy ordered the CMV-22B in June 2018, with 48 examples due to replace the service’s Greyhound aircraft. The CMV-22B first flew in December last year and can carry up to 6,000lb (2,721kg) for more than 1,150nm (1,323 miles/2,129km). It will be the only aircraft in the navy capable of transporting major components of the F-35C engine directly to an aircraft carrier flight deck, which is critical for naval logistics and support.