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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:30 AM
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Marines to Shift Aircraft in (Hawaiian) Isles
Marines to Shift Aircraft in Isles
August 10, 2010
Knight Ridder

The Marine Corps said it intends to base 24 MV-22 tilt-rotor Osprey ($2.4 billion dollars) aircraft at Kaneohe Bay, along with 18 Viper attack helicopters and nine Huey helicopters as part of a plan that will radically change the aircraft makeup at the air station.

The distinctive Ospreys have 38-foot twin rotors that allow the aircraft to take off like a helicopter, then rotate forward to become giant propellers, making flying much faster than helicopters.

The aircraft stationing is part of a plan by the Marines to restructure and shift their forces in the Pacific. An additional 1,000 personnel and 1,100 dependents would come in starting in 2012, with "full implementation" of the plan by 2018.

On Nov. 19 the Navy announced its decision to base up to 10 MV-22 squadrons, for a total of 120 Ospreys ($12 billion dollars), on the West Coast to replace nine helicopter squadrons.

The bases in Hawaii and on the West Coast are part of a Marine Corps plan to replace its aging fleet of medium-lift helicopters with the more advanced tilt-rotor Osprey.
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