Losses and Aviation Safety

Old warriors never die: US Navy Surging C-2A Greyhound COD aircraft as V-22 Groundings Continue

Uncertainty of the return of the V-22 tiltrotor

Air Boss Vice Adm. Daniel Cheever, the head of US naval aviation, said in a panel at the WEST 2024 conference, co-hosted by the US Naval Institute and AFCEA on Feb. 13, 2024, that the US Navy could rethink its plans on how it resupplies its fleet of aircraft carriers in the short term with more uncertainty in the long term given the uncertainty of the return of the V-22 tiltrotor to full operations.

As reported by USNI News, the service initially planned to retire its remaining 15 remaining C-2A Greyhound carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft over the next two years and replace them with a total of 38 CMV-22B Ospreys.

The C-2A Greyhound COD aircraft is still available

“Lucky for the Navy the C-2A Greyhound is still available,” Cheever said. “Limited operational impacts at this point but there are still operational impacts. And as you look into the future, significant operational impacts.”

The US Navy stopped training new C-2 pilots and has begun to wind down spares and logistic support for the 60-year-old design as part of the planned retirement for the Greyhounds.

Because of the crash of an Air Force Special Operations CV-22 off the coast of Japan late in 2023, that transition, completed on the West Coast, is now stalled with the grounding of the V-22 across the Marines, Navy and Air Force.

V-22 Ospreys out of operation

As of Feb. 13, the Ospreys have been out of operation for 69 days with no indication how long the grounding could continue.

The grounding force the Navy to swap out the V-22s aboard West Coast carriers USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN- 71) with C-2As the East Coast “Rawhides” of Fleet Logistics Support (VRC) 40.

“VRC-40 is currently surging to meet the [COD] mission for deployed aircraft carriers in U.S. 5th and 7th Fleets,” reads a statement from Naval Air Forces provided to USNI News this week.

“There has been no change on the planned 2026 sundown of the C-2A.”

No change in plan for the C-2A Greyhound COD aircraft yet

While there is no change in plan for the C-2s yet, there is little indication from any of the services how long the V-22s could remain out of service.

For the US Marine Corps (USMC) the situation is more dire. Operations for the Japan-based 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, the 26th MEU deployed on the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and the 15th MEU preparing to deploy aboard the Boxer ARG have seen dramatic impacts.

Marine officials have told USNI News that Marines are allowed to use Ospreys deployed aboard the Bataan ARG in specific emergency situations.

The USMC risks losing proficiency with the aircraft the longer their grounded.

The CMV-22B Osprey

The US Navy will use the CMV-22B to replace the C-2A Greyhound COD (carrier onboard delivery) aircraft for transporting personnel, mail, supplies and high-priority cargo from shore bases to aircraft carriers at sea. The CMV-22B carries up to 6,000 pounds of cargo and combines the vertical takeoff, hover and landing (VTOL) qualities of a helicopter with the long-range, fuel efficiency and speed characteristics of a turboprop aircraft.

Bell Boeing designed the Navy variant to have the expanded range needed for fleet operations. Two additional 60-gallon tanks and redesigned forward sponson tanks can cover more than 1,150 nautical miles. The mission flexibility of the Osprey will increase operational capabilities and readiness, in addition to ferrying major components of the F-35 engine.

This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. MV-22B Osprey, VMM-163 “Ridge Runners”, YP00, 168011

Photo credit: Seaman Kevin T. Murray Jr. / U.S. Navy

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

View Comments

  • They couldn't just use the osprey just as a conventional AC while they investigate the tilt and hover problems?

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