CV-22 Crew at Kirtland Air Force Base Leads the Osprey Fleet Past 25,000 Flight Hour Milestone
Albuquerque, N.M. - The Bell Boeing V-22 fleet surpassed 25,000 flight hours when a crew from the 71st Special Operations Squadron (71st SOS), Kirtland AFB, flew a 2.4-hour student qualification flight in CV-22 No. 02-0024, March 9, 2007. The 71st SOS is the Air Force training squadron for the CV-22.
Air Force crew-members on the historic flight included Lt. Col. Todd A. Lovell, aircraft commander and director of operations for the 71st SOS, Lt. Col. James E. Breck and Capt. Patrick D. Fronk, both members of the first student class of the 71st SOS. Additional aircraft crewmembers aboard the flight were SSgt Jeremy Hoye, TSgt. Joseph N. Levine and TSgt Aaron S. Brown.
"It was a great flight. The aircraft performed flawlessly at Belen Airport and in the southwest remote areas. The CV-22 is an excellent aircraft, and we're pleased to be the crew that takes the fleet over the 25,000 flight hour threshold," Lt. Col. Lovell said.
Lt. Col. James Cardoso, commanding officer of the 71st SOS, added, "It's been one year since we received our first CV-22, and the aircraft have been just superb."
The 71st SOS became the Air Force's inaugural CV-22 unit when it was activated in 2005. The 71st traces its heritage back to World War II as a troop carrier squadron. It provided support during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, when it flew the first AC-119 gunships, and Operation Desert Storm.
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