Building a Better Ace: Restructuring The Marine Expeditionary Unit's Air Combat Elements in the MV-22 ERA
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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In order to enhance the Marine Expeditionary Units aviation capabilities as its assault support assets transition from the venerable CH-46E to the revolutionary MV-22, the Air Combat Element should be restructured to deploy with additional conventional medium-lift helicopter assets. The role of the Marine Expeditionary Unit MEU as an immediate regional crisis responder requires that it be properly equipped to execute all of its mission essential tasks. It is possible that aviation capability gaps may emerge as the Air Combat Element ACE transitions its medium-lift aircraft from the CH-46E to the MV-22. Through the years, the CH-46E has proven its ability to adequately support a wide variety of assault support missions. The MV-22 is a vast improvement over the 40 year-old CH-46E, but the unique design that gives the MV-22 its advantages may also make it less capable than traditional helicopters at some missions. The MEU could benefit from the MV-22 without compromising existing capabilities by permanently adding conventional medium-lift helicopters to its ACE.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics