MARINE AIRCRAFT GROUP
49 DET. C
Marine Aircraft Group 49 Detachment C (MAG-49 Det.C), originated in 1946 at the New Orleans Lakefront Airport under the name Marine Air Detachment (MAD) and actively supported Marine Fighter Squadron 143.
MAD was redesignated as Marine Air Reserve Training Detachment (MARTD) in September 1953; in November 1957, MARTD relocated from New Orleans Lakefront Airport to its present location at NAS JRB New Orleans. MARTD was awarded the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing (4th MAW) Commanding General’s Proficiency Award in 1969, 1971 and 1974.
MARTD New Orleans was redesignated as MAG-46 Det. B in October 1979 and was awarded the 4th MAW Commanding General’s Proficiency Award in 1989. MAG-46 Det. B provided detachment support for Marine Light Helicopter Squadron 767 (HML-767) from Jan. 1 to May 14, 1991. During this period, HML-767 deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.
MAG-46 Det. B was redesignated as MAG-42 Det. C in June 1992 and was subsequently redesignated as MAG-49 Det. C on June 20, 2008, as a part of 4th MAW’s force structure realignment. During this timeframe, the MAG Det. provided direct support for Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 773 Detachment A (HMLA-773 Det. A), Fleet Readiness Center (FRC) Mid-Atlantic, and the 4th MAW Military Police Detachment (MP Det.). As a result, these component detachments were enabled to conduct operations at home and abroad, as is illustrated by the following:
- In 2003, the 4th MAW MP Det. was activated and deployed to Kuwait and Djibouti to support Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).
- From October 2003 to October 2005, HMLA-773 Det. A was activated in support of OEF, resulting in three separate deployments to Afghanistan during this two-year activation period.
- Following Hurricane Katrina’s devastation in September 2005, helicopters from HMLA-773 Det. A were employed throughout New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, where they participated in search, rescue and relief missions in support of Joint Task Force Katrina.
- In 2006, the 4th MAW MP Det. deployed to Pheodosia, Ukraine, to conduct annual training in support of Operation Sea Breeze.
- In 2007, HMLA-773 Det. A deployed to Al Asad, Iraq, for a seven-month deployment in support of OIF.
- In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, helicopters and personnel from HMLA-773 Det. A were deployed in 2017 to Lake Charles, Louisiana, to support disaster relief operations in Port Arthur and Beaumont, Texas.
MAG-49 Det. C and its component detachments will continue to meet all assigned missions, embrace a training plan that prepares the Marines and Sailors for future endeavors, and improve the readiness posture for future deployments at home or overseas.
MARINE TRANSPORT SQUADRON (VMR) BELLE CHASSE
Marine Transport Squadron Belle Chasse, a Marine Corps reserve squadron, is composed of active-duty, active Reserve and selected Marine Corps Reserve personnel. It was originally established in 1985 aboard NAS New Orleans, Louisiana, as Marine Aircraft Support Det. Belle Chasse, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing. The unit was redesignated as VMR Belle Chasse on Oct. 1, 2004. The mission of VMR Belle Chasse is to transport high-priority passengers and cargo to, within and between theaters of war.
To accomplish its assigned mission, the unit initially operated the UC-12B Huron light utility transport aircraft. In 1995, the CT-39G Sabreliner was added to the detachment until it was replaced by the UC-35C “Citation Ultra” aircraft in 1999. Most recently, the UC-12B was replaced in 2010 with the UC-12W, which brings enhanced capabilities in terms of range, payload, short field capability and aircraft survivability. VMR Belle Chasse was the first USMC/USN squadron to operate the UC-12W and serves as the NATOPS Model Manager for Fleet Marine Forces.
VMR Belle Chasse has deployed in support of multiple contingency, training exercise and Joint Task Force operations since it began operations in 1985. Additionally, since 2003, it has mobilized and deployed four UC-35 detachments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation New Dawn and Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. Since receiving the UC-12W, it has deployed three times in support of OEF to Camp Bastion, Afghanistan.
The squadron currently deploys a UC-12W detachment in support of SPMAGTF-CR-AF every year. When not deployed, VMR Belle Chasse receives operational tasking from the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing as well as the Joint Operational Support Airlift Center, the airlift branch of the U.S. Transportation Command. This ensures the squadron is trained and ready to complete its wartime mission in support of the Marine Air Ground Task Force or Marine Corps Service Component Commander.