The Marines are lobbying hard to get the Navy to retire one of their most vital aircraft, and trying to replace it with the V-22.
The C-2 Greyhound entered service in 1967. It came into its own during the Pueblo Incident in Korea. After the Pueblo was seized, the Navy sent the
Enterprise to Korea, and moved the Ranger to South Vietnam. The Navy leadership was concerned that they couldn't operate both ships at the same
time, with the same logistics chain.
Enter the C-2 Greyhound. There were fifteen of them in the Philippines and Japan at the time, and they stepped up and made a name for themselves
during the incident. They shuttled men, weather appropriate uniforms, spare jet engines, and parts between the two ships (over 2,000 miles apart),
allowing both to operate in their respective areas.
A second batch of Greyhounds was purchased in the 1980s, and upgraded since then. There are currently 35 in service, that fly everything from vital
mail runs, to cargo, to sailors that missed muster to the carriers in all parts of the world.
Now, some officers in both the Marine Corps and Navy are pushing to replace the C-2 fleet with the V-22 Osprey. The V-22 carries less cargo, isn't
cleared for carrier operations, and has less range than the C-2.
According to Marine Col. Greg Masiello, despite the fact that the C-2 is based on the E-2 Hawkeye airframe, has plenty of spare parts, has recently
received new propellers, and has undergone structural changes that will allow it to fly until 2027, the C-2 is on the verge of becoming "an obsolete
carrier onboard delivery aircraft."
He claims that the V-22 is "an ideal platform for aerial resupply for the Navy." Keep in mind this is the man in charge of the V-22 operations for
Currently with the C-2 Greyhound, they can haul 10,000 pounds of equipment almost 1500 miles. With the V-22, that same payload could be as short as
50 miles. The V-22, due to limited space inside the airframe, would have to haul some of that gear slung underneath the fuselage. That means a lot
The key here is that if the Marines convince the Navy to buy the V-22, that keeps the production line open, which means all the V-22s that the Marines
are buying drop in cost. Which the Marines deny.
On Jan. 23, 1968, North Korean forces seized the U.S. spy ship Pueblo sailing in international waters near the communist country. U.S. Pres.
Lyndon Johnson responded by sending the 7th Fleet aircraft carrier USS Enterprise into the Sea of Japan.
Problem was, the 7th Fleet also had to keep a carrier off of South Vietnam to support American troops in that embattled country. The USS Ranger was
available for the task, but Navy logisticians worried they would not be able to support two separate carriers in different locations using the same
An ungainly new carrier-compatible cargo plane saved the day. The C-2 Greyhound, built by Grumman—now Northrop Grumman—had entered Navy service a
little over a year earlier. Fifteen of the bulbous, twin-prop Greyhound were in Japan and The Philippines, from where they speedily shuttled men and
urgent supplies such as weather-appropriate uniforms and spare jet engines to both Ranger and Enterprise—this despite the nearly 2,000 miles
separating the flattops.
“The C-2 makes us so much more flexible that we could support three separated groups, if necessary,” boasted Rear Adm. Marshall White, commanding
air forces in the Western Pacific.