Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point -- The Marine Air-Ground Task Force demonstrated their capabilities at the 2014 Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point “Inspiration to Innovation” Air Show May 16-18 highlighting the Marine Corps amphibious abilities.
Four core elements comprise the MAGTF. The command element, ground combat element, aviation combat element and the logistics combat element.
“We tried to showcase and give everyone an idea of what the MAGTF can do,” said Andrew Kingbury, the MAGTF mission commander with the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. “We tried to integrate every aspect that the Marine Corps utilizes in order to win battles.”
The demonstration included many different types of equipment, from aircraft like the F/A-18 Hornet, that can deploy from naval aircraft carriers to provide war-fighting functions, AV-8B Harriers and EA-6B Prowlers.
It also included UH-1Y Hueys and AH-1W Super Cobras that can provide close-air and assault-support. The MV-22B Osprey transported the ground combat element of infantry Marines from Company E, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. In addition, the CH-53E Super Stallion dropped in a HUMVEE for ground transportation.
“Hopefully, we were able to show the people who do not work with Marines on a daily basis, the amphibious ability that we have and are known for as a force of readiness,” said Kingsbury, who as the MAGTF mission commander, coordinated all the aircraft and personnel throughout the demonstration.
For the average onlooker at the air show, the demonstration provided more than just a little bit of shock and awe.
“We loved the speed in the show,” said Shannon Nelson, who attended the air show with his family from Walkertown N.C. “It helps us understand and appreciate what Marines do every day.”
Many attendees of the show felt the same as Nelson.
“I cannot even narrow down my favorite part, said Ryan Longston an attendee from Clayton, N.C. “I enjoyed the whole thing. How the announcer explained it makes me want to look into it even more.”
The main point that the demonstration was attempting to portray was the ability the Marine Corps has to assist and facilitate the ground combat element, said Capt. Anthony Doukas, a MAGTF demonstration coordinator.
“Everything we do is to support those rifle platoons and infantrymen fighting on the ground,” said Doukas. “We provide everything we can from transportation to assault support so they can complete their mission.”
The demonstration portrayed a situation where inserting Marines by air and supporting them with air assets is the only option, according to Doukas.
“This demonstration itself is a lot of fun to watch,” said Doukas. “It also reminds us, as Marines who work on these aircraft every day, why we do what we do.”