2ND MARINE AIRCRAFT WING (2ND MAW)
Since its commissioning in 1941 and move to Cherry Point in 1946, the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing’s mission has been to support the Fleet Marine Force with air operations, among them offensive air and assault support, anti-air warfare, aerial reconnaissance, electronic warfare, and control of aircraft and missiles. Its global deployments mean that somewhere in the world, the sun is always shining on the wing.
Its subordinate units have many different responsibilities:
- 2nd MAW Band Command ensembles — including the Brass Band, the Jazz Combo and the Show Band — travel more than 30,000 miles every year to perform at more than 200 events, among them military and civilian ceremonies, formal concerts, community celebrations, parades, festivals and public relations tours. Music has been a part of the Marines since Nov. 10, 1775, when the newly formed Continental Marines stepped out to fifes and drums, and today’s 51 Marine musicians carry on that legacy.
- Marine Aircraft Group 14 is tasked with conducting offensive air and assault support, anti-air warfare, electronic warfare and air reconnaissance on behalf of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force or joint and coalition forces. It also conducts fleet replacement training to provide combat-capable aircrews to operational squadrons.
- Marine Wing Support Squadron 271, the “Workhorses of the Wing,” furnishes aviation ground support to rotary and fixed-wing aircraft both at Cherry Point and during worldwide deployments.
- Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14 provides aviation logistics direction, guidance and support to Marine Aircraft Group 14 squadrons. This includes maintenance for aircraft and aeronautical components, repairs on J-52 and F402 aircraft engines, ensuring that needed supplies reach aircraft and Navy-funded equipment, and ammunition logistics support.
- Marine Attack Squadron 223, one of three AV-8B Harrier squadrons assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 14, provides offensive air support, armed reconnaissance and air defense for Marine expeditionary forces.
- Marine Attack Squadron 231, known as the “Ace of Spades” and the Marine Corps’ oldest air squadron (1919), is a fixed-wing attack squadron made up of AV-8B Harrier jets. In recent years its air operations have included providing battlefield air interdiction, deep and close air support, helicopter escort, rescue combat air patrols and reconnaissance missions.
- Marine Attack Squadron 542, “The Tigers,” was commissioned in 1944 as a night fighter squadron flying F6F03N Hellcats. Today, the Tigers and their present-day Harrier attack jets have consistently been in the forefront of U.S. action in the Middle East and South Asia.
- Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2, the original composite squadron in Marine Corps aviation, conducts airborne electronic warfare, day or night, whatever the weather, during expeditionary, joint or combined operations to support Marine air-ground task forces.
- Marine Attack Training Squadron 203’s main mission is to instruct AV-8B Harrier II pilots, aircrews and maintenance personnel; the squadron has deployed several times in recent years for instructor and student training.
- Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 provides assault transport for personnel, equipment and supplies, battlefield illumination, aerial medevac, and refueling services to fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, 24/7, in all weathers. The Marine Corps’ oldest continually active squadron, it usually includes about 240 enlisted Marines, 50 officers and a dozen aircraft, though its strength fluctuates.
- Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 2, formed in 1984, was the first Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) unit in the U.S. Armed Forces. The unit conducts reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition missions.
- One of Marine Aircraft Group 29’s nine squadrons operates out of MCAS Cherry Point, though MAG-29 itself and its other eight squadrons are at MCAS New River, 50 miles to the southwest.
- Marine Wing Support Squadron 274 furnishes aviation ground support so that Marine Aircraft Group 29 and any supporting or attached elements of the Marine Air Control Group can carry out their missions. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, for instance, in 2006, the squadron’s aviation ground support and combat service support included fueling, flight line repair, vertical and horizontal construction, heavy equipment, convoy and civil affairs operations, supply route repair, facilities and vehicle maintenance, communications, base security, and countering improvised explosive devices.
The mission of Marine Wing Support Group 27 is to Command and control all functions of Aviation Ground Support (AGS) within the Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW), in garrison or deployed as part of the Aviation Combat Element (ACE) of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF).
MWSG-27 was activated July 1, 1953 as a service group and re-designated as a support group on April 1, 1967. In June 1986, Marine Corps Aviation began a massive Corps-wide reorganization. This reorganization composited personnel and equipment from the wing transportation squadron, the wing engineer squadron, four Marine air base squadrons, and the headquarters and ground maintenance squadron. The result of the reorganization was the establishment of four Marine Wing Support Squadrons under MWSG-27, with each MWSS capable of operating an air base in support of a Marine Aviation Group. The 2010 decision of the Force Structure Review Group deactivated the Marine Corps’ MWSGs in May 2012. Efforts to bring back the MWSGs began in 2014 resulting in the reactivation of MWSG-27 on 22 May 2018.
MWSG-27 is composed of a group headquarters at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point; MWSS-271 operates Expeditionary Airfield Bogue, N.C.; MWSS-272 at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C.; MWSD-273 at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C.; and MWSS-274 AT Cherry Point. Each MWSS-provides the following functions to a deployed ACE:
- Air base commandant services
- Essential engineer services including vertical and horizontal construction, mobile electrical power, water production, laundry, and hygiene services
- Internal airfield communications including wire, radio, and data services between tenant units
- Intra-airfield motor transport support to include Humvees, 5-ton trucks, dump trucks, wreckers, and LVS trucks
- Medical services to include routine and emergency sick call
- Food services
- Airfield Security Operations
- Expeditionary airfield services including airfield surfacing, arresting gear, airfield lighting, and optical landing systems
- Expeditionary Firefighting and rescue services; aviation and structural
- Refueling services for all elements of the MAGTF
- Explosive ordnance disposal services
MWSG-27 operates the only expeditionary airfield on the East Coast.
- Marine Air Control Group 28’s main tasks are to provide air command and control of complex air space, wing communications and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). Though its focus is global battlegrounds, the group also has responded to tragedies such as the 2010 Haitian earthquake, helping to bring humanitarian aid and disaster relief to that stricken nation.
- 2d Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion specializes in shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles; the battalion’s motto is “Death From Below,” and its principal task is to provide security in dangerous situations, such as for military convoys traveling through hostile territory.
- Marine Air Control Squadron 2’s mission is basically air traffic control at home and abroad: to detect, identify and control the interception of hostile aircraft and missiles; and for friendly aircraft, to provide navigational assistance and continuous all-weather radar and non-radar approach, departure, en route and tower air traffic control services.
- Marine Air Support Squadron 1 plans, receives, coordinates and processes military requests for direct or close air support, usually through Direct Air Support Centers deployed with expeditionary operations but sometimes by providing Air Support Elements or Air Support Liaison Teams.
- Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 28, a component of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force, equips, staffs and maintains the Current Operations Section of the Tactical Air Command Center of the Aviation Combat Element. A command and control unit, it also provides and maintains a facility for the TACC Future Operations Section, and installs and maintains associated automated systems.
- Marine Wing Communications Squad-ron 28’s “Spartans” have been setting up, repairing and maintaining vital and secure communications among various elements of U.S. expeditionary forces, especially aviation combat units, since 1967.
- Combat Logistics Company 21 is among Cherry Point’s combat-ready, multi-mission companies. Its activities help keep the air station and 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing operational; It’s personnel transport freight and passengers, handle disbursing, postal and exchange services, and coordinate the loading and offloading of Marine Expeditionary Forces equipment and personnel from arriving and departing aircraft at the station’s Aerial Port of Embarkation/Debarkation.
- Two other aircraft groups come under the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing but are at MCAS New River, North Carolina, and MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, respectively. They are Marine Aircraft Group 26 (Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 26, Marine Wing Support Squadron 272, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadrons 162, 261, 263, 264, 266 and 365, and Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204) at MCAS New River; and Marine Aircraft Group 31 (Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31, Marine Wing Support Detachment 31, Marine Fighter Attack Squadrons 115, 122, 251 and 312, Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadrons 224 and 533, and Marine Fighter Attack Training Squad-ron 501) at MCAS Beaufort.
HEADQUARTERS & HEADQUARTERS SQUADRON
Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron, reaches nearly 2,000 total service members with 850 active-duty service members, Fleet Assistance Program, and temporarily assigned Marines, making it the Marine Corps’ largest squadron. Duties for “The Rams” include administration, logistics, law enforcement, air traffic control, aircraft rescue and firefighting, and legal, food and religious services, among others, but basically focus on managing the air station’s living and training facilities.
CENTER FOR NAVAL AVIATION TECHNICAL TRAINING
The Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training instructs about 1,400 Marine, Navy, Italian foreign national and civilian students every year in 76 different courses that support the AV-8B Harrier II attack aircraft, the KC-130J Super Hercules extended-range tanker, the FA-18E/F Super Hornet multirole fighter, and maintenance specialties in avionics, cryogenics and I-level ordnance, vital to aviation logistics squadrons because it ensures that equipment will work as expected when it’s needed.
FLEET READINESS CENTER EAST
One of eight U.S. Navy fleet readiness centers and the only one commanded by Marines, Fleet Readiness Center East is also the Department of Defense Vertical Lift Center of Excellence. For more than 70 years the center has maintained, repaired and overhauled almost every sort of aircraft the Marines have flown, from World War II’s F4U Corsair, the “Whistling Death,” to the forward-edge F-35B Lightning II now in delivery. The center is one of the most advanced aviation rework facilities in the country, and its clients include the Navy and Marine Corps, the U.S. Air Force and Army, federal agencies and more than 30 foreign nations.
NAVAL HEALTH CLINIC CHERRY POINT
An outpatient medical facility with Navy Medicine’s sole stand-alone ambulatory procedures unit, Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point provides general surgery, gynecology, orthopedic, radiology, oral/maxillofacial and podiatry surgical services, as well as immunizations, a lab, a pharmacy, an optometry office, and dental care from the 12th Dental Company. The clinic also houses the 2nd Marine Air Wing Medical. During a typical month, the command handles 8,381 outpatient medical appointments, 60 ambulatory surgical procedures and 18,000 laboratory and 2,622 radiological studies, and fills 22,000 prescriptions.