Bell Boeing MV-22 Saves Airman’s Life in Operation Odyssey Dawn

In March 2011, in partnership with various national military units, the U.S. Armed forces embarked on Operation Odyssey Dawn – a joint international operation in Libya. On the third day, a U.S. Air Force fighter jet pilot, Maj. Kenneth Harney, was forced to eject out of his failing aircraft, landing in hostile territory. A fast rescue was imperative to continue the operation, avoid any strategic setbacks and save the Airman’s life. Because of the time constraints and gravity of the situation, the fastest aircraft – the Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey – was selected for deployment.

Maj. Harney’s position was positively identified, but intelligence updates indicated enemy forces were quickly closing in on his location. The Osprey’s sophisticated navigation equipment allowed the flight leader to quickly adjust the route to save time. The Ospreys were at the downed pilot’s location just 41 minutes after takeoff.

When the MV-22 touched down, “Harney sprinted at full tilt for the Osprey. He ran up the rear ramp, sat down, buckled up, and gave the thumbs up signal.” In only 90 seconds, the aircraft had landed, secured the aviator and taken off. The total time from crash to rescue was just under three and a half hours – a very successful rescue mission. Both the speed and maneuverability of the Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey and the U.S. Marine Corps dedicated training and execution made this evacuation possible. “Of the thousands of sorties flown by the 28-nation Odyssey Dawn coalition, this was the most important.”

About Bell

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit:

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