5 MH-53's made a farewell flight yesterday from RAF Mildenhall over London, Dover and East Anglia. The helicopters will now be retired to Davis-Monthan AFB.
Well done to the 21st SOS 'Dust Devils'.
In relation to this
I recall a conversation with some folks from Hulbert Field at the Air Fete 2000, and queried the V-22 and was told in no uncertain terms, that the V-22 was AFSOCOM's future. Rotary Wing Spec ops was going to be purely in the lap of the 160th SOAR and that was that.
The Hulbert Field folks also back then, said by 2007, CV-22 would be in the Suffolk countryside however within a few months, there were two fatal V22 accidents and V22 testing and fielding got slightly ummm suspended so i suspected the timeline for fielding AFSOCOM units would be last on the agenda with regard to putting the USMC VMM squadrons as priority.I guess now with the final flypast of the Pave Lows, and the gradual introduction of the CV-22...then the predicted timeline for this year being the CV-22 stationed in Europe might not be off course as such possibly by 1 or 2 years.
The other alternative if there was an urgent need would be the MH-47E. As with the old cant' remember the unit at Taegu or Osan AFB, in 2001 when their Pave Lows were gone from the 353rd Special Operations Group, and replaced by E Company of the 160th SOAR with MH-47E for vertical lift in that theater or operations.
Ref my analysis about what could be based here ref V-22, forgot a conversation I had with a drinking buddy from Mildenhall back in Feb and that was the winding down and flexible status then deployable assets destined for overseas ops would be stationed at Canon AFB. He hinted that there might (a pretty big might) removal of AFSOCOM assets from European and Pacific Theaters to be centralized at Canon As in the recent changes from the 27th FW to 27th SOW at Canon In short it be unlikely the V-22 be stationed permi at Mildenhall unless there is a detachment on hand.