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Special ops commander relieved of duty after Osprey crash in Florida

Crew walk to the U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft at MacDill AFB in Tampa Florida in 2008.
Crew walk to the U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft at MacDill AFB in Tampa Florida in 2008./

The Air Force has fired the commander of a special operations squadron a week after a CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in his unit crashed in Florida, NBC News confirmed on Thursday.

Lt. Col. Matt Glover, who commanded the 8th Special Operations Squadron based at Hurlburt Field in Florida, was relieved from his duties because of a loss of confidence, a military official told NBC News.

The Osprey, designed to take off and land like a helicopter and fly like a twin turboprop airplane, crashed on a training mission north of Navarre, Fla., on June 13 in a 750-square mile military training area called the Elgin Range. Five crew members were hospitalized with injuries.

On Wednesday, two of the airmen injured in the crash remained in the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, the Air Force reported. Officials are investigating.

This crash, along with a fatal MV-22 crash in Morocco in April, have raised new safety concerns among Japanese leaders and citizens ahead of an expected deployment of MV-22 Ospreys to Japan, NBC News reported. The MV-22 is the Marine Corps' version of the same aircraft.

Two Marines were killed in that crash and two more were more seriously wounded. The investigation determined that the crash was not a result of mechanical failure.

In an attempt to assuage safety concerns, several senior U.S. military officials at the Pentagon on Friday will brief a Japanese delegation on the preliminary results of the investigation into the June crash, NBC News reported.

The CV-22 Osprey’s mission is to conduct long-range infiltration, extraction and resupply missions for special operations forces, according to the U.S. Air Force web site.

The Air Force version is filled with sophisticated technology, including a missile defense system, terrain-following radar, a forward-looking infrared sensor and other electronic gear that enable it to avoid detection and defend itself on special operations missions over enemy territory, the Associated Press reported.

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