NC-Based Osprey Squadron Headed To Iraq

The Marines have deployed the first combat squadron of V-22 Ospreys.

The tilt-rotor aircraft spent decades in development due in part to a series of mechanical failures and fatal crashes.

About 200 members of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 and ten Ospreys left Monday from New River Air Station next to Camp Lejeune aboard the USS Wasp.

Marine Major Eric Dent says the squadron includes 20 pilots and will spend around seven months ferrying troops, supplies and cargo.

The Osprey takes off vertically like a helicopter and flies like a plane and can fly faster and farther than helicopters.

But development of the aircraft was set back by two fatal crashes in 2000, one in Arizona that killed all 19 Marines aboard and another in Jacksonville, NC that killed four.

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