The location and date of the first V-22 deployment will be announced Friday by US Marine Corps Commandant General James T. Conway.
Let the speculation begin!
I can think of three most likely options for the location:
- Amphibious Ready Group in the Persian Gulf
- Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa
My money is on option number 3.
The potential propaganda coup of a V-22 shootdown in Iraq should rule out number 1. Lingering questions about the V-22′s shipboard suitability may also rule out number 2. A marine corps battalion is on the ground in Djibouti, offering a relatively safe operating environment for the tiltrotor’s introduction into service.