Marine Aircraft Group 16 was formed March 1, 1952 at Santa Ana, California.
Colonel Mitchner was MAG-16's first commanding officer. Eight units made up the newly formed MAG: Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 16, Marine Airbase 16, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadrons 161, 163 and 164, Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 and 363, and Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 301. Through the years, many other helicopter squadrons have made MAG-16 their home.
Units of MAG-16 have participated in numerous exercises and operations including; Combined Arms Exercises, Weapons and Tactics "Instruction Courses", Kernel Blitz, Desert Fire Exercises, Desert Punch, Seahorse Wind, Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm and many other missions, including Operation Iraqi Freedom.
MAG-16 has provided support in Somalia to include rescue operations in many other locations. MAG-16 maintains a high standard of combat readiness and is capable of supporting any assigned mission or reaction to any operational contingency.
MAG-16 deploys its units aboard the fleet of the United States Navy to maintain a high state of awareness overseas and abroad. MAG-16 and its units have provided aircraft support and transportation for visiting U.S. dignitaries and celebrities from the President of the United States, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Navy, Commandant of the Marine Corps and movie legend Audrey Hepburn.
MAG-16 participates in community relations by providing support to the local community with static displays, raising money for the unfortunate, visiting the sick, and providing food and medical care for victims of natural disasters. MAG-16 also provides aircraft and personnel for the MCAS Miramar Air Show.
Today, MAG-16 is made up of 10 units: Personnel Support Detachment, Marine Air Logistics Squadron 16, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadrons 161, 163, 165, 166, and Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadrons 361, 462, 465, and 466. Currently commanded by Colonel Michael H. Belding.
MAG-16 celebrated its 52nd birthday on March 1, 2004. MAG-16 continues to perform its assigned mission of transportation and re-supply for Marine air and ground units in an exemplary manner, maintaining the highest regards and traditions of the United States Marine Corps.