The US Marine Corps's HMX-1 presidential helicopter squadron has started flying the Bell Boeing MV-22 Osprey, the service says. The unit received its first tiltrotor aircraft on 5 April at MCB Quantico, Virginia, and started flying on 26 April.
"The Ospreys will conduct presidential support missions, which means these aircraft will carry presidential support staff and news media representatives travelling with the president," the USMC says. "The Osprey mission at HMX-1 does not include carrying the President of the United States."
Although flight operations have started, the unit will not start ferrying around presidential staff or journalists until later this year. Ultimately, HMX-1 will receive 12 MV-22s.
The presidential helicopter squadron's first MV-22 made its flight debut in January 2013