The Marine corps activated another MV 22 Osprey Squadron today at New River Air Station in Jacksonville. That makes three squadrons training to fly the aircraft, which is still grounded from flight in combat. The activation of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 266. A big day for the Corps. They will pilot the MV 22 Osprey fleet, an aircraft that flies up to 300 per hour and can hover like a helicopter. An aircraft the Corps says will revolutionize assault aircraft. Squadron 266 advisor Sergeant Major Suzanne How said, "I am very confident that when we deploy it operationally, it will change the face of Marine Corps aviation." But when that revolution, fought on and above battlefields, will begin is the question. The Corps grounded the MV 22 Osprey in 2000 after 23 marines died in two separate crashes, deaths the squadron's commanding officer says won't be in vain if the Osprey program flies forward. Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Seymour said, "It's remarkably gratifying and an indication of a resolve of our Corps, and our country, to prevail." A computer glitch grounded the fleet of 46 MV 22 Osprey's last month. The Corps says that glitch is now fixed. Lieutenant Colonel Seymour said, "The aircraft is finally transitioning into the operational forces and is getting closer and closer to operational deployment." In fact, members of the first Osprey squadron activated, Medium Marine Tiltrotor Squadron 263, are currently in pre deployment training, set to fly into action, to fly into the war in Iraq. A decision on when that may happen will come by the end of this month.
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