Marine Aircraft Group 12 (MAG-12)
"The Ready Group"
The mission of the Marine Aircraft Group 12 (MAG-12) is to conduct anti-air warfare and offensive air support operations in support of Fleet Marine Forces from advanced base, expeditionary airfields or aircraft carriers and conduct such air operations as may be directed.
Marine Aircraft Group 12 (MAG-12) was first activated at Camp Kearney, California, on 1 March 1942, and shortly thereafter, deployed to the Pacific. From December 1942 until cessation of hostilities in late 1945, the Group participated in numerous World War II operations in the Solomon and Philippine Islands supporting the US Army, Navy and Marine Corps, as well as Philippine guerrilla forces. For such service, the Group earned the Army Distinguished Unit Award and the Navy Unit Citation.
After a short period of post-war occupation in China, MAG-12 returned to the United States in April 1946, and was assigned to Marine Air, West Coast, at Marine Air Depot, Miramar, California. The Group conducted stateside training and underwent many reorganizations in the post-war period.
In September 1950, MAG-12 deployed to Itami, Japan, and then to Wonson, Korea, to support Korean War operations. MAG-12 supported UN Forces operations at the Chosin Reservoir and provided outstanding support to the ground forces during their courageous withdrawal to Hungnam. Through the end of the Korean Conflict, the Group participated successfully in numerous operations and accumulated over 80,000 effective combat sorties, against enemy troops, installations, vehicles and countless other vital targets. A second Navy Unit citation was awarded for its Korean War service.
During 1956, after nearly 6 years in Korea, MAG-12 was withdrawn to Iwakuni, Japan, and remained there conducting close air support for Fleet Marine Forces in the Western Pacific until 1965.
In May 1965, MAG-12 deployed to Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam, to support Marine infantry and other allied forces in that country. The Group participated in many large operations, including the recapture of Hue City and the relief of besieged units at Khe Sanh. Two more Navy Unit Citations were received as a result of the Group's contribution to the Vietnam War effort. After almost 5 years of combat, MAG-12 was withdrawn from the Republic of Vietnam in February 1970, and reestablished at Iwakuni, Japan. MAG-12's stay in Japan, though, was short. Again, in May 1971, MAG-12 deployed to Vietnam and conducted combat operations from Bien Hoa air base until finally withdrawing from war in January 1973. MAG-12 then returned to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. There MAG-12 represents the fixed wing strike assets of the 1st Marine Air Wing. In addition to its permanent staff, MAG-12 consisted of a logistics squadron and 4 flying squadrons.
In mid-1997, with concurrence of the F/A-18 Requirements Office (N88) and the Operational Test and Evaluation Force (OPTEVFOR), PEO(T) authorized the interim release of Tactical Aircraft Mission Planning System (TAMPS) version 6.1 and Operational Flight Program 11C (OFP 11C) for units equipped with the AYK-14 Mission Computer (MC) upgrade. This included squadrons within Carrier Air Wing 5 (CVW-5) and MAG-12. The extension to CVW-5 and MAG-12 was to facilitate the continued incorporation of the Engineering Change Proposal 51 (ECP-51) MC upgrade requiring the use of the OFP 11C. A stipulation associated with the interim release was to ensure proper training with TAMPS 6.1 was received prior to its use. Both Strike Fighter Weapons Schools Pacific and Atlantic had been authorized to conduct formal TAMPS 6.1 training in addition to the formal training received by Air Wing deployments to Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada. Special arrangements had been made to accommodate Western Pacific training for CVW-5 and MAG-12 located in NAF Atsugi, Japan and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan respectively.
In September 1999 the Red Devils of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron-232 arrived at Iwakuni from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, to participate in the Unit Deployment Program with MAG-12. The Red Devils, consisting of approximately 148 Marines, flew 12 F/A-18C aircraft and replaced VMFA-242, the Bats, which returned to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.
In 2008, VMFA(AW)-242 relocated to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan and replaced VMFA(AW)-212 as a non-UDP squadron assigned to MAG-12.
By 2012, MAG-12 consisted of one Marine Aircraft Logistics Squadron (MALS-12) and 4 operational flying squadrons: VMFA(AW)-242, two UDP F/A-18 squadrons, one UDP EA-6B squadron . Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 and a UDP AV-8B detachment were also assigned to MAG-12.
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