The Marine Corps provided some local news reporters with the chance of a lifetime today allowing them to fly in a MV-22 Osprey.
The flight began at DuPage Airport in West Chicago, and from there continued to fly around the “Windy City” for 45 minutes before landing back at DuPage.
The interaction between Marines and local Chicago media took place during a rehearsal for the main show on Sunday in which Marines will depart Dupage Airport in a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter landing at the Arlington Park Racetrack. Marines will then exit the aircraft and demonstrate a raid for individuals in attendance before being picked up in a MV-22 Osprey.
“We will be picking up the Marines in the old technology, dropping them off and will have the new technology picking them up,” said Capt. Craig Anderson, MV-22 Osprey pilot. “The MV-22 brings a lot to the fight with its legs and vertical take offs.”
Once the aircraft landed the local media personnel shuffled out of the Osprey with laughs and smiles on their faces.
“We certainly got off the ground quickly with the vertical take off,” said Tom Sandor, local radio host with WRMN 1410 AM. “The landing was very smooth as well. This is an example of taxpayer money being well spent.”
The CH-46 Sea Knight made its debut in January 1978 and is slower and larger than the MV-22. The MV-22 can carry up to 20 troops and 20,000 pounds of internal or 15,000 pounds of external cargo. The MV-22 offers a greater variety of mission capabilities.
The Marine Corps plans on slowly phasing out the CH-46 in favor of the Osprey.
“If this is the future of the Marine Corps I’m all for it,” said Sandor. “It’s a tremendous piece of gear and was a first class operation from start to finish. The country should be proud of the men and women of the United States Marine Corps and what they do on the daily basis,” said Sandor.
The Marines are just as pleased to be here in Chicago.
“Marine Week offers us the chance to show the people of Chicago what the Marine Corps does on the regular basis,” said Anderson. “We are here to help build the relationship between the Corps and the Midwest. It’s phenomenal, nice to get out here where there isn’t a heavy military presence,” added Anderson.
For details on the event Sunday visit www.marines.mil/marineweek