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Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24)

The mission of Marine Aircarft Group 24 (MAG-24) is to provide combat-ready, expeditionary aviation forces capable of short-notice, worldwide employment to a Marine Air Ground Task Force Operations.

Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24) was first activated on 1 March 1942 at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa on Oahu, Hawaii. During World War II, MAG-24 saw extensive action throughout the Pacific theater, most notably in the campaigns to liberate the Philippines. Following the war, MAG-24 was deployed as part of III Amphibious Corps to Peiping in Northern China to take part in the occupation that lasted from October 1945 until April 1947. In April 1947 it was relocated to Guam. In 1949, MAG-24 moved to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina where it remained for the next twenty years.

In April 1968, MAG-24 relocated back to the Pacific in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii where it became the Marine Corps' largest and only permanent composite Marine Aircraft Group. Starting in 1978, MAG-24 provided both fixed and rotary wing squadrons for 6-month unit deployments to the Western Pacific. From August through December 1990, squadrons and personnel from MAG-24 deployed to Southwest Asia to support Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Following combat operations, the returning MAG-24 squadrons participated in the Bangladesh relief operation named Operation Sea Angel in 1991. From 1 October 1986 through 30 September 1994, MAG-24 served primarily as the Aviation Combat Element for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade. In 1994, MAG-24 was inactivated and replaced by Aviation Support Element, Kaneohe (ASEK).

After being reactivated at Kaneohe Bay in the early 2000's in place of ASEK, MAG-24 squadrons deployed to Marine Corps Air Stations Iwakuni and Futenma, Japan in support of the Unit Deployment Program (UDP) and 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) Aviation Combat Element (ACE). The Group's 3 squadrons traveled the Pacific participating in exercises in Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippines, Korea, and Thailand.

In September 2004, a detachment of CH-53Ds from HMH-363 and HMH-463 chopped to HMM-265 to provide the 31st MEU ACE with heavy lift capability. This MEU detachment marked the return of the CH-53D to combat operations in the Middle East. The squadron forward deployed to Al Asad Airbase in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Beginning in 2006, MAG-24 began sourcing a complete squadron deployment to Al Asad Airbase, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. HMH-463 began what became a 7-month deployment rotation to Iraq for all MAG-24 squadrons that lasted over 3 years. In 2009, HMH-362 upgraded 11 CH-53D's to the T64-GE-416 engines and transitioned from the flat sands of Iraq to the mountainous, rocky deserts of Afghanistan to begin support of Operation Enduring Freedom. MAG-24 heavy lift squadrons entered into a similar combat rotation in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

By the beginning of 2012, MAG-24 consisted of one CH-53D squadron (HMH-362), one CH-53E squadron (HMH-463), a Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron (MALS-24), and a Marine Wing Support Detachment (MWSD-24). A transition period, forecasted to stretch into FY17, would expand MAG-24 to consist of one HMH (CH-53E), one HMLA (AH-1Z/UH-1Y), one VMU (UAV), 2 VMMs (MV-22), a Marine Wing Support Detachment, and a Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron.

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Page last modified: 27-03-2013 18:06:53 ZULU