VMX-22

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Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron VMX-22
VMX-22.JPG
VMX-22 insignia
Active August 28, 2003 - present
Country United States
Branch USMC
Type Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron
Role Validation of the MV-22B, MV-22C, CH-53E, CH-53K, F-35B, RQ-21B, UH-1Y, AH-1W, AH-1Z, associated equipment,weapons systems, and software.
Part of Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force
Garrison/HQ Marine Corps Air Station New River
Nickname Argonauts
Motto "Mihi Cura Futuri"
"Mine is the care of the future"
Tail Code MV
Engagements None
Commanders
Current
commander
Col. Robert Rauenhorst

Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron Twenty-Two (VMX-22) is a United States Marine Corps tiltrotor squadron consisting of MV-22 Osprey and CH-53E Super Stallion aircraft. The squadron, known as the "Argonauts", is based at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina. VMX-22 stood up in August 2003 and reports to the Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force (COMOPTEVFOR), who in turn reports test data and results to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Director, Operational Test and Evaluation.

Mission[edit]

VMX-22 is an independent test organization under the operational control of COMOPTEVFOR and administrative control of the Deputy Commandant for Aviation with the charter to:

  • Address future requirements
  • Build an operational tactics guide
  • Develop tactics, techniques, and procedures
  • Sponsor tiltrotor issues and concepts of employment
  • Prepare the foundation for the training syllabus of the Tiltrotor Fleet Readiness Squadron

The squadron provides a solid framework for MV-22 operational testing and lays the groundwork for a long-term "Tiltrotor Center of Excellence."

History[edit]

Flight-testing of the MV-22 Osprey was delayed in the aftermath of the two incidents in 2000 and resumed in May 2002 to address the mechanical issues raised by these accidents. Included in the now on-going testing process is a rigorous, strictly regimented inspection process to verify and validate all of the aircraft’s modifications and clearances. The Integrated Test Team at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Edwards Air Force Base, VMX-22, and the Bell Helicopter facility in Amarillo, Texas, have flown more than 4600 hours in the MV-22.

Since the MV-22 is neither a fixed-wing nor rotary-wing platform, it has a unique designation as a tiltrotor. The aeromechanics, composite structure, maintenance concepts, and concept of deployment are inherently unique and best addressed in a squadron solely focused on tiltrotor operational testing.

On July 11, 2014, Marines from VMX-22 accompanied USS America (LHA-6) on her maiden voyage from Pascagula, Mississippi, enroute to her homeport in San Diego, California.

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