The US Marine Corps has released the first video footage of the BellBoeing MV-22 Osprey operating inside Iraq.

The footage of the tiltrotors appeared briefly as part of a USMC news story focusing on preparations in Western Iraq for the Haj, an annual religious pilgrammage. The two MV-22s were filmed clearing a landing zone along the route.

The video footage can be viewed by clicking here.

The release of the video footage offers a rare glimpse of the Ospreys during its operational debut in Iraq. The marines have kept a tight seal on public information about the maiden deployment of the MV-22 squadron VMM-263.

The first public comments about the squadron’s performance appeared on 22 November. A marine spokesman told the North County Times (California) newspaper that the MV-22s were performing their mission of moving troops and supplies “with ease”. “There have been no significant maintenance issues,” the spokesman added.

VMM-263 deployed with 10 MV-22s to Iraq in late-September.

None of the deployed aircraft was affected by MV-22 mishap in North Carolina on 6 November. That aircraft was severely damaged by a nacelle fire, but the crew escaped injury after making an emergency landing.

Click here to view Flight's cutaway drawing of the MV-22 Block B.