First Osprey Arrives at Marine One Squadron

Osprey3The President’s Marine helicopter squadron received the first of 12 MV-22 Ospreys on April 5, although the president will not be traveling aboard the tilt-rotor aircraft with the checkered early flight history.

The Ospreys that join the Marine Helicopter Squadron One fleet will carry presidential support staff and the media rather than the President of the United States.

Marines will paint the Ospreys in the squadron green. The¬†VH-3D Sea King and VH-60 White Hawks that carry the president are painted white on top and called “white tops.”

The Marines started flight operations with the Osprey on April 26, however the tilt-rotor aircraft will not start carrying reporters and presidential support staff until later in 2013, according to the Marine announcement.

HMX-1 is based at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia.

About the Author

Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to He can be reached at

    Can’t wait to see the squadron green on this beast. Even though it doesn’t transport the president: Tilt Rotor One

  • Anonymous

    Just imagine the PR disaster that will happen if one of these crash carrying support staff/media – or even the POTUS at some point in the future.


      The POTUS won’t fly on board the V-22. Just his support staff.

    • charles

      Just imagine the PR disaster that will happen if any aircraft crashes carrying the support staff/media for the POTUS. If they are good enough to carry Marines into combat they are good enough to carry anyone anywhere.

    • Gary Lockhart

      There’s no PR disaster any time one of Sikorsky’s H-60 Crashhawks fails to autorotate, yet again, and the media and geniuses like you fail to note that HMX-1 operates eight VH-60Ns

  • greg

    Just another freakin waste of taxpayer dollars. Only the best for Obama and his stooges. LOL!

  • Davis

    Osprey enters the big leagues! Nice!

  • Nadnerbus

    I like how it’s not safe enough yet for the President to fly in, but staff and media, go right ahead.

    I’m sure once they get a good record going, that restriction will be lifted, but I don’t know that I would want to be the test monkey.

  • jamesb


    the link you provided is from 2009….

    Here is some history on the CANCALLED VH-71 debacle…..

  • jamesb

    The chopper you see above is for transporting SUPPORT assets….

    The President is still flying in a chopper that is from when he was in college….
    Someone on here might have the update info….
    But I beleieve there is NOTHING in the works for a new chopper….

    The Augusta-Westland chopper was bigger, faster and had 3 engines …
    The Skosky wasn’t even built when they lost the contest to supply ALL the 23 helo’s…..

    I’d bet somehow….
    Someway they will get the contract sometime in the future
    Even if their Helo is inferior….

    I repeat…
    The US taxpayer paid like $3 Bil for Agusta to sell rejected choppers to Canada that I believe Obama keeps riding in a VERY OLD Marine One….

  • Jamesb

    Gates cancelled the order….

    HE was following orders……

    The Sec Serv and WH Military Office comment was on point….


    I’m sure Congress wasn’t pleased that Marine One Helo’s would be a English/French creation even they where put together in upstate New York….

    • 6113

      All of the 71s we had here at the time were not built in the US. They all came straight from the UK. The plan was to build them in the US, after the first ten test A/C were delivered and then missiopnized in upstate New York.


      Well, that was probably some motivation in the cancellation. Also, maybe AgustaWestland simply couldn’t keep up with all the requests asked for by the US.

  • IKnowIT

    Pretty stupid; the POTUS chopper cant even keep up with them. But maybe they will use that to justify even more new choppers, since this is nothing but a publicity stunt on the part of USMC..

  • Uncle Bill

    Ah come on. Let him ride on it. On the roof.

  • Ricky of Ohio.

    One bad arse photo right there.

  • John

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I heard Augusta Westlands was selected by Bush administration as a reward for backing US in invading Iraq. Obviously not the only reason but it was a part of the reward US dangled while asking for support from some European nations.

    This was done despite the fact that some knew the Augusta Westlands was just not big enough for the requested addon equipment. The cost spiraled out of control due to the weight issue, hence the cancellation…

  • walkerny

    All the Helicopters do is transport the President to locations in the DC area, most often to Air Force one at Andrews. The White Tops are across the river in Anacostia, at a secure facility on Bolling AFB. When I worked at DIA I watched them practice takeoff and landings. great pilots. No I see no reason short trip helicopters need be crammed with the latest and greatest.

    • Eric

      Not really true. They take the helos all over the country to stage ahead of AF1. Sometimes they fly, sometimes they put them on a larger transport plane.

      Also they are located in Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia as the article says. The base you are referring to is a stopping point and not where the helos are stationed.

      • FormerDirtDart

        I was waiting to depart Kosovo 2001 and watched while three VH-60s brought in by C-17s and reassembled at Pristina Air Base.

  • oblatt1

    Osprey: not good enough for the President, but adequate for his luggage.

    Just a marine PR stunt.

  • Dave
  • jamesb


    Your statement is NOT correct….

    While most people JUST see the WH departure and arrival’s those helo’s go almost EVERYWHERE the President goes…packed up in C-17’s or C-5a’s if need be….

    It is far easier to have the President fly OVER traffic and bad unsecured area’s then to motorcade….

    But the comment about a helo NOT being Air Force One is correct….

    There should be NO Need to put the same Commo Capability in his helo as in the airplane…further more in THIS day and age a smaller unit could be carried in a laptop that plugs into the helo’s antenna’s….

    Tell people they are working for the President and they go off the chard in spending….

  • RVN11B

    If this President had any balls, er, integrity, he would over rule the decision for him not to ride on the Osprey. Leaders lead by example. But then if he is the clucking bird defecation sort of person then he will just smile and wave and go on as usual.

  • Joe

    Sequesteration what?

  • Barry

    President Obama has flown on Ospreys, both in Iraq and in Afghanistan.

    • FormerDirtDart

      I know he did while he was a Senator, but has he since being President?

      • SJE

        I’ve seen pictures. so I believe so.

  • Greg

    Is the President going to need a dedicated Amphibious Assault Ship next? The President can’t go get a cheeseburger with it costing the taxpayers a few million bucks.

  • Old Gunny

    Hey oblatt & iknow….Corps doesn’t need PR or stunts … We just follow orders & do what we do. Kill people & destroy shit!!! But for the record….I wish that SOB thats in the White House now would’ve taken a test flight in one of the early model Ospreys!!

  • jamesb

    Barry I believe the MV-22 rides was when Obama was a senator……

    IF I have this right …..the only OTHER Helo he’s been in was a Army One Chinnok in and out of Afghanistan a year or two ago on one of his secret trips….


    Hmmm. So yes, the V-22 will be added to the presidential (and associates) fleet. A first step in modernizing the entire fleet. Anyone know if the next Air Force One will be a 787 or 747-8?

  • STemplar

    Waste of money. The Ospreys serve a purpose but an $80 million dollar support ferry for the POTUS entourage is not it.

  • faa A&p mech

    many comments here have really the taken the great photo out context… an for thos that dont know the osperey is great invention,, how evr is very cramped i stand 5’6″ an 130lbs..n i walked in an out no problem, a person much taller will have a neck an aheadache…

    FAA A&P Mech…

  • Laney Prately

    1) Stop calling the Osprey “troubled”, I’ll grant you “once troubled”. But costs are down, readiness is up, and safety is not longer a question (at least from those who can examine statistics objectively).
    2) The V-22 is a replacement for the CH-46, which HMX-1 operated 14. These Osprey’s are direct replacements.
    3) Did anyone complain when the Prez didn’t fly on HMX-1’s CH-46s?
    4) It doesn’t make sense to equip the V-22 for the Prez when we have to helicopters already equipped. VIP cabin (besides the fancy seat covers the HMX V-22s will get), extra EMP hardening, add’l comms, etc etc.

  • OldQuanticoMarine

    And why doesn’t the Pres ride in V-22s. HMX tested them a decade ago and found them unsafe. This is why VMX-22 was formed, so that tiltrotor pilots could validate their success. Meanwhile, the fleet Marines demanded more CH-53Es, which are the same size as the V-22, but can carry three times more just as far, and can land in dirt LZs (without a five hour washdown between missions). So they pulled the CH-53Es from Quantico and sent them to Afghanistan, rather send more than 10 V-22s, which were limited to simple had surface STOL trash haul missions, and replaced them with V-22s.

  • oblatt1

    Indeed the marines are now crying about how they don’t have enough helicopters now that they blew the budget on the Osprey. Without the Osprey the marines would have been able to afford a fleet of helicopters and short landing aircraft that would have provided 6 to 10 times the capability.

    Marines will die because they cant get evac soon enough – all because the marines need to look good in Michael Bay movies. And the marines will tell you how happy they are with that tradeoff.

  • Joe

    And 12 more ospreys that could have been used to support combat operations somewhere….

    cant wait until all the admirals and generals want one for transport. waste of cash.


      Uhhh. 12 Ospreys have been “taken” from service. The US has over 140 V-22s, so 12, I doubt, will make a difference. Also, these weren’t taken from the military; they were ordered separately (correct me if I am wrong, of course).

  • jamesb

    He, he, he…..

    Just in time, eh?

    New Marine One Helo Bid goes out….

  • Joshua

    Eventually you will see Ospreys in the Marine 1 and Marine 2 roll. Since the early issues in develop meant and the pilots have basically relearned how to fly that hybrid monster the Osprey actually has an amazing safety record. And lets face it Marine 1 won’t be flying into and landing in the extreme brown out conditions the plagued the Osprey early in The Stan and Iraq. Also from a taxpayer’s stand point a V V-22 (I think that would be the designation of the VIP model) would be a very cost effective option. Due to the speed and the range Marine 1 could feasibly replace Air Force 1 on short trips in the states and on foreign trips once Air Force 1 touches down. No more would the President have to spend A million plus dollars of tax payer money for the 1 1/2 flight to New York or other areas on the East Coast.

  • jamesb


    The primary helo’s on the bid will be the

    S-96 Sikorsky
    W -101 Augusta -Westland
    H-47 – Boeing Chinnok….

    The V-22 isn’t listed in the first cut so far…..

    Check the PDog link….

  • jamesb

    A Helo replace Air Force One?

    Wake Up Joshua…..

  • Joe

    Why won’t the current resident of the white house travel by Osprey? He expects thousands of military members to travel this way. I also seem to recall that the UH-60 Blackhawk had such a rough start that it was called the “CRASHHAWK” when it first came online. Hmmm, nothing like a double standard.

  • 6113

    It’s not like he, or any other President will never fly in one of these ever, it’s that they will never land on the White House lawn. The rotor wash and exhaust will tear up everything. Trees and bushes will be blown over and the grass will be burned once they get on short final. Plus the approach is really tight, so there’s not much room for error.

  • 6113

    The article left out a few important details like the fact that the Marine Corps doesn’t fly Ch-46s or Ch-53Ds anymore. The V-22 is replacing both of those aircraft in the fleet now. The V-22s going to HMX-1 are replacing the Ch-53Es and CH-46s that are part of HMX “green side” fleet, meaning they will primarily fly support for the “white side” aircraft.

  • ParaMarine

    We should have Obama ride in one Russian MI-8’swe’re buying for the Afghan air farce!

  • This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking
    more of your wonderful post. Also, I have shared your
    website in my social networks!