Although the Marines’ Hymn proclaims that Leathernecks will “fight our country’s battles in the air, on land, and sea,” the image that most likely comes to mind for the average American is of Marines racing across the beach from landing craft, often while under heavy enemy fire. This image has been reinforced in popular culture through films from Sands of Iwo Jima to the more recent Flags of Our Fathers.
But the Corps, as with all the services, finds its access capabilities coming under increasing budget scrutiny these days. Senior leadership will need to demonstrate the continuing value of the Marines’ platforms, whether air or sea, in a tight fiscal environment.
To lead off this month, Lieutenant General Terry G. Robling, Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation, does just that. In “Osprey in the Catbird Seat,” he tells us why ground commanders and their Marines are saying “We want more” of the newest warbird—the MV-22B. Not only has the tiltrotor aircraft proved safe and survivable despite a troubled early developmental history, it gives the air-ground team a broader array of mission capabilities and command flexibility.