MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) formally deactivated during a ceremony at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Feb. 19, 2014.
The unit activated Nov. 30, 2012, beginning deployments to Afghanistan January 2013.
For more than a year, 2nd MAW (Fwd.) had aerial responsibility of southwestern Afghanistan. During that time, they supported NATO’s International Security Assistance Force operations in partnership with Afghan National Security Forces.
For more than a year, the wing provided all manner of aviation support to troops on the ground. They provided close-air-support, troop transport, assault transport and medical evacuations.
2nd MAW (Fwd.) was at the forefront of a transitional period to Afghan control, the beginning of the end of more than 12 years of war.
“Our mission was to help and support the Afghan military and Afghan people so that they are able and prepared to stand on their own two feet,” said Sgt. Maj. Thomas W. Foster, sergeant major of 2nd MAW (Fwd.).
Col. Scott S. Jensen, commanding officer of 2nd MAW (Fwd.), said the Marines forward deployed with the wing performed to the highest standards of the Marine Corps.
“This was not my first deployment,” said Jensen. “I’ve worked with a broad array of command staffs and headquarters, and I will tell you, there was no finer group of professionals. I would serve in any clime and place with the soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines that we worked with over there.”
The casing of the colors signified the end of 2nd MAW (Fwd.)’s rotation in Afghanistan. Toward the end of the wing’s deployment, aerial responsibility was passed on to 3rd MAW (Fwd.).
“The colors will go in a case and some sergeant major somewhere will put them proudly in the corner of their closet until the next time,” said Jensen. “And there will be a next time. I think it is important that we all remember that ... We stay prepared.”