USMC Aviation in Afghanistan


USMC aviation is a core part of the ground fight, a point missed in many comments on the nomination of a USMC aviator to become the next Commandant of the USMC.  These photos highlight some of the aviation assets supporting the current USMC engagement in Afghanistan.

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Credit: 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Fwd) Public Affairs, April 2010, Afghanistan

  • In the first photo CH-53D Sea Stallions with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466, “Bigfoot,” fly into Camp Bastion’s air field in Afghanistan during a day of heavy hauling as the aircraft carry out missions for 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) and I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).
  • The second photo pictures aircraft with three different 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) squadrons lining the flight line at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. These aircraft provide the medium- and heavy-lift capabilities for the 3rd MAW (FWD) to support Regional Command (Southwest)’s mission across the Helmand and Nimruz provinces.
  • The third photo shows an MV-22 Osprey with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, flying over the baron landscape of the Aghanistan desert while performing missions delivering personnel and cargo April 24th, 2010.
  • The fourth photo shows Cpl. Gustavo Arroliga, a plane captain for Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367, communicating with the pilots of a UH-1Y Huey, using hand signals, as they take off from the flight line here, April 15th.
  • The fifth photo shows Marines from Marine Wing Support Squadron 274 removing AM2 matting, used to construct expeditionary air fields, from the main fueling point at Camp Dwyer’s flight line so that the can repair the ground beneath it. The Marines removed about 350 pieces of matting, and mixed about 1,500 90-pound bags of concrete into the soil beneath to help stabilize it and prevent further complications during the upcoming rainy season.
  • The final photo shows an MV-22 Osprey with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), sitting outside a forward operating base in Afghanistan April 24th after delivering Marines and cargo. The Osprey continues to prove a valuable asset for “shrinking the battle space” in 3rd MAW (FWD)’s operations area, flying faster and farther than any assault support aircraft in the region.


*** Posted on June 29th, 2010