Aboard an Osprey in Helmand Province

Aboard an Osprey in Helmand Province, Afghanistan – Osprey-bashing is still much in style in Congress and other venues, but not in the southern deserts of Afghanistan.

The ungainly aircraft, which lift off and land like a helicopter and fly like a fixed-wing prop aircraft, have gone into the short-haul business of ferrying troops and cargo for the Marine Corps in Helmand province, and they’ve begun shedding their bad reputation in the process.

“It’s about speed and mobility,” said Marine Maj. William McFarland, 39, of Columbia, S.C. “You can get places twice as fast” as helicopters.

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