MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (NOV. 8, 2010) --
Col. Russell A. C. Sanborn, the commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group 14, got his goodbye in front of friends, family and fellow Marines outside Hangar 250 on the Cherry Point flight line, Monday.
Responsibility officially changed hands when Sanborn passed the group’s battle colors to Col. Andrew G. Shorter, who was formerly the division chief for joint training at the United States European Command in Stuttgart, Germany.
“It’s a steady drum beat that goes on and on,” said Sanborn, who commanded MAG-14 for 18 months and took pride most in, “supporting the war fighter.”
“The most rewarding part was to see them go succeed,” Sanborn said of his Marines. “It’s like watching your kid hit a home run, and you’re in the stands cheering him on.”
During deployments to two wars Sanborn said his Marines were regularly hitting it out of the park.
MAG-14 is the largest aircraft group in the Marine Corps and finding the time to devote to its nearly 90 aircraft and more than 3,400 Marines created a challenge.
“My job was to bulldoze all of the roadblocks that were in my Marines’ way to success,” Sanborn explained.
He credits the success to his 12 squadron commanding officers.
“They were the guys that made it happen,” Sanborn said. “My job was just to help facilitate their success.”
Sanborn also stressed the importance of every Marine’s job.
“Not a single aircraft would take off without all the enablers coming together and doing their job,” Sanborn stated. “Day in and day out, Marines stepped up.”
Sanborn is moving on to assume the role as the assistant wing commander for 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward,) which is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in the spring of 2011.
“It’s a great job and a great opportunity,” Sanborn noted. “Every cowboy wants to be in an Indian fight.”
The new MAG-14 commander is excited about the new challenge.
“This is an awe inspiring opportunity that I am grateful to have,” Shorter said. “I couldn’t be more pleased to have the opportunity to work with all the fine Marines, Sailors, civilian Marines, and their families in accepting the challenge in maintaining MAG-14 as the biggest and best.”