The switch to MV-22’s will give the squadron a whole new level of capabilities, said George, who recently received his 3,000 flight hours pin.
Traveling almost twice as fast and carrying 10 more Marines than the aging “Sea Knight,” the “Osprey” will replace all medium lift helicopters in the Marine Corps. The MV-22 also has the ability to refuel in flight, making it self-deployable.
The pilots of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 266 will head to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron-204 and begin a six-month school, learning how to fly the revolutionary aircraft.
“It’s two different theories of flight,” said U.S. Marine Maj. Mike Duncan, a pilot with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 266 moving to the new machine. “You have aspects of both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft.”
Duncan said he is excited about moving to the MV-22, and said the Marine Corps will benefit from the increased long range capability.
The squadron ended its journey on a positive note, returning all of its Marines and sailors safely from its most recent deployment to Iraq, said George.
He said he expects the squadron to continue its proud tradition when it re-emerges as an “Osprey” squadron and prepares for another deployment, possibly in 2008.