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Marine Aircraft Group 46 [MAG-46]

Marine Aircraft Group 46 was activated March 1, 1944 as Marine Base Defense Aircraft Group 46. The commissioning took place at El Toro, California. The Group's primary mission was to administer and supervise training for combat duty, and other activities of the attached squadrons and detachments. It also trained replacement pilots and crews for Marine squadrons operating in combat areas.

The Group remained at El Toro throughout World War II and did not deploy overseas. MAG-46 was redesignated on November 10, 1944 as Marine Aircraft Group 46. Another redesignation occurred on May 15, 1945, when it was assigned the title of Marine Air Support Group 46. The termination of hostilities in the summer of 1945 was followed by rapid demobilization. One result of this policy was the deactivation of the Group on 15 March 1946.

Sixteen years later, a major reorganization within Marine Aviation began. This reorganization coincided with the formation of the 4th Marine Division in reserve. Changes included reactivation of MAG-46. Thus, on July 1, 1962, Marine Aircraft Group 46 was reborn at Grosse Ile, Michigan. The unit was formally assigned to the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing in February, 1965, after that organizations reactivation.

The MAG-46 headquarters remained in Grosse Ile until November 1, 1965 when it moved to Brooklyn, New York. Another relocation came a year and a half later and the Group moved on April 30, 1967 to Los Alamitos, California. The change of stations brought the Groups subordinate units together in the same general location.

In early 1971, MAG-46 moved to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California and remained there until August, 1994 when the Group was relocated to its present location at Naval Air Station Miramar, San Diego California.

Today, the Group is responsible for coordinating, supervising, and supporting the following squadrons located at NAS Miramar: Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 134, flying the McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18A "Hornet" ; Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron (MALS) 46; Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 473(-); Marine Air Support Squadron (MASS) 6 Det A; Marine Wing Communications Squadron (MWCS) 48 FWD.

Additionally, the following Squadrons fall under MAG-46's span of control: Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 764, flying the Boeing-Vertol CH-46E SR&M "Sea-Knight"; Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 769, flying the Sikorsky CH-53E "Super-Stallion"; Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 473 Detachment A all located aboard MCAS El Toro, California; Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 775, flying both the Bell AH-1W model "Super-Cobra" and the UH-1N "Huey", located at MCAS Camp Pendleton, California; Marine Fighter Training Squadron (VMFT) 401 flying the Northrop F-5E "Tiger II" located at MCAS Yuma, Arizona.

At present, MAG-46 controls the activities of more than 4,000 Marines with 75 assigned aircraft at four locations. During fiscal years 1991 and 1992, MAG-46 twice received the prestigious Lieutenant General Karl S. Day award for outstanding recruiting, retention, and MOS training management. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 134 has won the "Pete" Ross Safety Award three out of four years from 1991-1994. Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 764 won the coveted Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award two years in a row from 1992 and 1993. The group was recognized for tactical excellence by selection for the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing Unit Proficiency (AIR) Award in 1994. During the period 1990-1992, HMM-764, MWSS-473, and MATCS-48, Det A were mobilized in support of Operations Desert Shield/Storm. Marine Aircraft Group 46 received both the Navy Unit Commendation and National Defense Service Streamers for mobilization efforts during the Gulf War.

Since 1990, subordinate units have deployed more than 100 times on unit training deployments, detachments and Annual Training (AT's).

The mission of MAG-46 is to organize, train and equip individual Marines and combat-ready squadrons and to augment and reinforce the active component when required in order to serve as part of our total force.




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