Squadron proves importance of air support during ITX

27 Nov 2013 | Lance Cpl. Unique B. Roberts

More than 200 Marines and Sailors with Marine Wing Support Squadron 274 arrived at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Nov. 20 after engaging in a five-week exercise in the Mojave Desert.

The Integrated Training Exercise is a pre-deployment exercise designed to allow unit’s to evaluate their combat effectiveness in a deployed environment.

ITX replaced Enhanced Mojave Viper late last year and is conducted at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.

The squadron participated in the exercise in preparation for upcoming missions and possible deployments, according to Maj. Adam Pastor, the squadron’s executive officer.

During the exercise, the squadron provided vital support to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force, Pastor said.

“The Marines and Sailors performed airfield operations, aircraft rescue and firefighting, explosive ordinance disposal, motor transport, logistics and communications support,” said Pastor. “This training ensures the squadron is ready for any mission they are tasked.”

The Marines and Sailors also refamiliarized themselves with Marine Corps common skills.

“We practiced convoy operations, desert survival training, and weapons handling and familiarization skills,” said Sgt. Mark A. Peterson II, an Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting specialist with the squadron.

In addition to performing well during the exercise, the squadron revolutionized the evaluation process, according to Pastor.

“[The squadron] created a deployment readiness evaluation process to evaluate the deployment readiness and execution of mission-essential tasks,” he said.

“This process will be adopted by Tactical Training Exercise Control Group and Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps Training and Education Command, to evaluate future MWSSs,” he said.

The unit is scheduled to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom this spring
Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point