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1st Marine Aircraft Wing (1st MAW)

1st Marine Aircraft Wing (1st MAW), as the Aviation Combat Element of III Marine Expeditionary Force, provides combat ready, task organized forces capable of conducting aviation operations across all 6 functions of Marine Aviation in naval and expeditionary environments, and commands and controls aviation forces through the Tactical Air Command Center in order to contribute to the accomplishment of our Nation's security objectives as required by standing operational plans in the US Pacific Command (PACOM) area of responsibility, engagement operations in support of Marine Forces Pacific, overseas contingency operations, and other operations as directed. Commanded by a major general with its headquarters at Camp Foster, the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing is the aviation combat element of III Marine Expeditionary Force and its mission is to conduct air operations in support of the Fleet Marine Forces to include offensive air support, anti-air support, aerial reconnaissance including active and passive electronic countermeasures, and control of aircraft and missiles. As a collateral function, the wing may participate as an integral component of Naval Aviation in the execution of such other Navy functions as the Fleet Commander may direct.

Commanded by a major general with its headquarters at Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing is the aviation combat element of III Marine Expeditionary Force and its mission is to conduct air operations in support of the Fleet Marine Forces to include offensive air support, anti-air support, aerial reconnaissance including active and passive electronic countermeasures, and control of aircraft and missiles. As a collateral function, the wing may participate as an integral component of Naval Aviation in the execution of such other Navy functions as the Fleet Commander may direct.

1st Marine Aircraft Wing was a US Marine Corps element of III Marine Expeditionary Force. The brunt of the Wing's forces were located on the island of Okinawa, Japan. However, various subordinate commands were located in mainland, Japan and in Hawaii. The 1st MAW supported the 3rd Marine Division, also located in Okinawa. MCAS(H) Futenma also supported helicopter squadrons and certain fixed wing assets. MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, supported the Marine fixed wing squadrons. Marine aircraft squadrons might be deployed throughout the western Pacific, operating from the NAS Guam, NAF Kadena, NAS Atsugi, aboard Navy carriers, or from Air Force or Army air facilities as the tactical situation dictated.

By 2012, 1st MAW consisted of approximately 7,500 Marines and sailors, and is organized into fixed wing/fighter attack group (Marine Aircraft Group 12 stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni), two rotary assault/support groups (MAG-36 stationed at MCAS Futenma; MAG-24 stationed at Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii), and an aviation command and control group (Marine Air Control Group 18). The Wing's rotary-wing aircraft, air control, and aviation ground support assets of MAG-36 were stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. These include the CH-53 Super/Sea Stallion helicopters and a combination of CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters and the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft that was replacing the CH-46. AH-1W Cobra attack helicopters, UH-1N Huey helicopters, and KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft were also stationed at MCAS Futenma. The Wings remaining units in Japan were stationed at MCAS Iwakuni, on mainland Japan and included F/A-18 Hornets and AV-8B Harriers. The Wing had CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. In addition, as a result of its forward deployed nature, the 1st MAW was supported by the Unit Deployment Program. Two F/A-18 squadrons, one heavy-lift helicopter squadron, and one light-attack helicopter squadron deploy to Japan every 6 months from the United States.




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