Osprey at War

Can the MV-22 pass muster in Afghanistan?

The Osprey’s role in Afghanistan has been mainly assault support: transporting troops and supplies (here, Army soldiers unload gear from an MV-22 at a remote combat outpost). (Ed Darack)
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As the Osprey began its spiral climb, I felt the same powerful G-forces as everyone else, although I had one advantage: My watch had an altimeter, so I knew when the steep climb would stop.

After making two stops, we reached my destination, a small camp dotted with tents, generators, and a few high antennas for communication. I dragged my gear out of the way of the rotor wash, then watched as the Osprey disappeared, the only visible lights the dim green glow of the pilot’s night-vision goggles.

Writer and photographer Ed Darack frequently covers U.S. Marine combat operations.

About Ed Darack
Ed Darack

Air & Space/Smithsonian contributing editor Ed Darack’s forthcoming book, Highest Valor (Smithsonian Books, 2017), covers the story of the people and circumstances of Extortion 17 and its downing in Afghanistan in August 2011. The shootdown was the single deadliest incident in the war in Afghanistan. The book grew out of his article in the Feb./Mar. 2015 issue. See his website and Facebook page for more information.

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