Photo Information

Caitlin Murphy, 4, rushes to embrace her father, Maj. Jeffrey T. Murphy, Saturday, after a more than a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan with the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward). Murphy is the aviation safety officer for the wing, which flew approximately 70,000 combat sorties in 60,000 hours of flight time.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki

2nd MAW returns from Afghanistan

7 Mar 2012 | Lance Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki

After a yearlong combat deployment to southern Afghanistan, more than 80 Marines with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) returned to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point March 3.

Since deploying to Afghanistan Feb. 9, 2011, the wing was responsible for approximately 70,000 combat sorties in 60,000 flight hours, in support of 4,000 medical evacuations and an average of 22 special operations per month, said Maj. Gen. Glenn M. Walters, commanding general of 2nd MAW (Fwd).

Airstrikes played a critical role in Afghanistan, read a congratulatory message from Lt. Gen Thomas D. Waldhauser, commander of U.S. Marine Corps Force Central Command, to Walters and his Marines.

The message went on to say the wing was critical in destroying insurgent lines of communication and disrupting the enemy’s freedom of movement in the battle space.

“It was long and tedious, working 12 to 16 hour days every day, sometimes longer,” said Cpl. Colin J. Wine, a system administrator for Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2. “You’re working every single day all year, that’s your life. You gain valuable experience in your job field. It’s just a good experience to go forward and see what the Marines actually do.”

Many Marines are assigned billets that do not fall inside their original job field, added Wine. The cross training was an added benefit of the deployment.

The affect of the separation brought on by a more than year long deployment was evident when the Marines were finally able to reunite with their families.

“Returning was almost surreal, because we waited so long to get back and it didn’t seem real until I actually saw them,” said Sgt. Amanda McGhee, who returned to her family who came down from Maryland.

It was great to see my family here and everyone that was supporting us, said McGhee, a helicopter landing zone manager for MWHS-2.

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point