The U.S. Navy has established its first CMV-22B Opsrey squadron – the Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron 30 “Titans” (VRM-30) – during a ceremony at Naval Base Coronado in Coronado, Calif. on Dec. 14.
The ceremony was attended by Capt. Marcello D. Caceres, Commander, Airborne Command & Control and Logistics Wing, and Vice Adm. DeWolfe H. Miller III, Commander, Naval Air Forces.
VRM-30 was established to begin the Navy’s transition from the C-2A Greyhound, which has provided logistics support to aircraft carriers for four decades, to the CMV-22B, which has an increased operational range, greater cargo capacity, faster cargo loading/unloading, increased survivability and enhanced beyond-line-of-sight communications compared to the C-2A.
“Where no instructions existed, no patch existed, no ‘here’s how we are going to perform our duties everyday’ existed, this team will define that. And it’s exciting because we can establish right off the bat those best practices,” said Vice Adm. DeWolfe H. Miller III, Commander, Naval Air Forces. “This platform is our future and when you look at the nature of the future fight, we need that versatility, that flexibility that’s going to be provided in every subsequent squadron that transitions.”
The first CMV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft are scheduled to be delivered to the squadron in FY20. While VRM-30 awaits the arrival of the CMV-22B, Navy pilots and maintainers will train with the United States Marine Corps, which has flown the MV-22 since 2007. As the C-2A squadrons stand down, their pilots and aircrew will transition to the CMV-22B. The final C-2A squadron is scheduled to stand down in FY24.
The U.S. Navy plans to form two new Fleet Logistics Support Multi-Mission (VRM) Squadrons to operate its new CMV-22B Osprey for the carrier-onboard-delivery (COD) mission rather than converting its existing COD Fleet Logistics Support Squadrons (VRC).
The first squadron, VRM-30, is based on the West Coast while the second squadron, VRM-40, will be based on the East Coast.
The U.S. Navy’s current COD units are VRC-30 “Providers” based at Naval Air Station North Island, Calif., and VRC-40 “Rawhides”, based at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. VRC squadrons provide detachments of Grumman C-2A Greyhound aircraft to transport passengers, high-priority aircraft, ship, and weapons system components, U.S. Mail, and other cargo to and from the Navy’s aircraft carriers. C-2s has been the Navy’s primary COD aircraft since the mid-1960s.
The CMV-22 Osprey is a variant of the MV-22 Osprey operated by the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). The Osprey is a tiltrotor V/STOL aircraft that can takeoff and land as a helicopter but transit as a turboprop aircraft.
As compared to the MV-22B, the Navy variant has extended operational range, a beyond line-of-sight HF radio, improved fuel dump capability, a public address system for passengers, and an improved lighting system for cargo loading.
The CMV-22B will be capable of transporting up to 6,000 pounds of cargo/personnel to a 1,150 NM range. CMV-22B operations can be either shore-based, “expeditionary”, or sea-based.
The CMV-22B is expected to field with Initial Operational Capability (IOC) and deploy for the first time (projected) in 2021. While the Program of Record has 48 CMV-22 projected, the Navy currently plans to procure only 44 aircraft, with deliveries beginning in 2020.