MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
A detachment of more than 100 Marines from Marine Wing Support Squadron 271 left Cherry Point March 9 for Afghanistan.
During its approximately seven-month deployment, the “Workhorse of the Wing” will provide aviation ground support to 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), the lead aviation combat element in Afghanistan.
The squadron is made up of more than 60 military occupational specialties.
“The squadron has to provide a wide variety of tasks such as motor transportation, engineering, fuel, aircraft rescue and firefighting and many more,” said Maj. Wade Evans, MWSS-271 operations officer. “There will be other entities out there that have similar capabilities but not the variety of capabilities that an MWSS brings.”
The detachment of Marines activated in early November and spent the past few months conducting operations and field exercises here in preparation for the deployment.
“We are one of the few organizations that actually do what we do in combat in garrison,” said Evans.
Despite the preparations for the deployment, the detachment will face challenges in Afghanistan.
“I would say the distances between the number of air sites that we maintain will be the biggest challenge for the Marines,” said Evans. “Because it is a large area, maintaining hundreds of (helicopter landing zones) and other landing zones can be daunting.”
Evans said the detachment will be challenged, but he is confident that it will accomplish its mission and provide 2nd MAW (Fwd.) with the support it requires.