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Alien-looking craft are buzzing over the Carolinas. Don’t call the cops

Alien-looking craft are making lots of noise over the Carolinas, but please, hold off calling in the military.

These odd-looking, buzzing beasts are the military.

Japanese military pilots have been training with U.S. Marines based in Eastern North Carolina to fly and maintain Bell Boeing V-22 Ospreys, according to a July 27 Facebook video post by the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.

The combat aircraft “take off, land and hover like a helicopter,” according to Boeing.com. “Once airborne, it can convert to a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight.”

The Japanese pilots are learning from members of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 — the V-22 Osprey training squadron of the U.S. Marine Corps. The squadron is based at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C.

Training began in May, will involve up to 50 Japanese pilots and will continue until May 2020, 1st Lt. Michael Curtis, a spokesman for the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, told Marine Corps Times.

“Anybody who’s ever worked or flown in a V-22 Osprey has come through 204 in their past because this is, right now the only schoolhouse for it,” Major Christopher Corbeille, operations officer for Training Squadron 204, said in the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing video.

“It’s really good so far,” Major Akira Takeuchi, a V-22 Osprey pilot with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force said in the video. “We are now doing really, really good training.”

Of the Japanese pilots, Corbeille said: “Never having seen an Osprey before in their life, they’re very proficient in both flying and then maintaining it as well. The whole idea being that, in about a year from now, they’ll be taking all their aircraft and personnel back to Japan, and they’ll be fully self-sufficient and running their own squadron.”

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.
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