February 10, 2015 --
More than 200 Marines from the Military Police Instruction Company of the Marine Corps Detachment on Fort Leonard Wood lined up at on Forney Air Field Tuesday to get a peek inside a Marine Corps MV-22, a specialized derivative of the V-22 Osprey designed specifically for Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1).
HMX-1 is the air transportation unit charged with shuttling the President and top administration officials around the world.
According to Master Gunnery Sgt. Dewayne Smith, HMX1 security chief, said one of his jobs is to recruit Marines for the detail. Smith said they try to fly from Virginia to Fort Leonard Wood quarterly to recruit new MPIC students.
The MV-22 replaced the CH-46E Sea Knights attached to the squadron and have upgraded communications equipment and seating.
They are not used to transport the President. While they will be painted in HMX-1’s signature dark green, they will not have the white tops associated with the Sikorsky VH-3Ds and VH-60Ns used to fly the President.
The Osprey measures 54 feet long with a 45-foot wingspan. On each wingtip sits an 38-foot diameter, 3-blade composite rotor attached to a rotating nacelle that can swivel up to 90 degrees. A pair of 6,150 HP Rolls-Royce Allison T406/AE 1107C-Liberty turboshafts provide the thrust. This allows the powered lift aircraft (as it's classified by the FAA) to take off and land like a conventional helicopter when the nacelles are vertical, then convert into a more fuel-efficient turboprop plane once it's in the air by rotating the nacelles forward. It can also perform a hybrid rolling takeoff with the rotors at a 45-degree angle.