MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- After a recent deployment to Africa and Spain the Marines with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 received a warm welcome from family and friends as they returned to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Jan. 21.
During the deployment the Marines were in support of operations in Djibouti, which consisted of supporting the Personnel Recovery Task Force by working hand-in-hand with other United States military branches.
“I took half of the detachment to Djibouti, Africa to assume the PRTF mission in November, and my [executive officer] remained in Spain with the other half of the detachment,” said Maj. Janine Garner, the detachment officer in charge. “The Marines maintained our mission out there with half the personnel and assets and they did it well.”
Partnering with the Army and the Air Force, the Marines with VMGR-252 completed the triad and assisted in the rescuing of a junior sailor off the Gulf of Aiden.
“We diverted from a mission we were conducting in Africa up to the Gulf of Aiden,” said Garner. “The Sailor was on a ship and we [rescued] him, he went into surgery and lived.”
The squadron strives to provide assault transport of personnel, equipment, and supplies, in addition to providing aerial refueling services to fixed and rotary wing aircraft. While supporting operations in Djibouti, the Marines were given the opportunity to put all those skills to the test.
“I was able to work with the flight schedule and the Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization program,” said Cpl. Jacob Rollin, an aviation operations specialist with VMGR-252.
Although the tasks and procedures were the same, working in a deployed environment is more challenging than working in garrison, explained Rollin.
“Usually there are staff non-commissioned officers managing the junior Marines but while we were in Djibouti, I was able to show what I have learned and exercise my skills by ensuring none of the aircrews qualifications were expired,” said Rollin.
While supporting operations in Djibouti, the Marines exceeded all of their superior’s expectations, according to Garner.
“The Marines worked hard,” said Garner. “They were great.”