Leaders
Commanding Officer, Headquarters Squadron 39, Marine Aircraft Group 39
Major Robert L. Johnson

Major Johnson is currently serving as the Commanding Officer, Headquarters Squadron 39, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing aboard Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton.                        

Major Johnson completed Officer Candidate School (OCS) and was commissioned on 12 December 2008 after graduating from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering. Second Lieutenant Johnson reported to The Basic School (TBS) in January of 2009, graduating in July. He then executed Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders to Pensacola, FL and attended Introductory Flight Screening (IFS).

After attending Aviation Pre-flight Indoctrination (API) at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Second Lieutenant Johnson reported to Vance Air Force Base for Primary Flight Training. Second Lieutenant Johnson selected the rotary wing pipeline and reported to Helicopter Training Squadron 18 (HT-18) for Advanced Helicopter Training where he was promoted to First Lieutenant. After completing Advanced Helicopter Training, First Lieutenant Johnson was designated a Naval Aviator on 11 April 2011, was selected for the AH-1W "Cobra", and received orders to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Camp Pendleton, CA.

First Lieutenant Johnson reported to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 (HMLAT-303) for introductory AH-1W training in May 2011. He then reported to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469 (HMLA-469) “Vengeance” in November 2011 and was assigned to the Operations Department as a flight schedule writer. First Lieutenant Johnson then deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM 12.1 and 12.2. where he flew 187 combat missions. HMLA-469 returned from Afghanistan in November 2012.

First Lieutenant Johnson was promoted to Captain in January 2013 and began the instructor pilot syllabus. He was designated as a Weapons Training Officer (WTO) within six months. In September 2014 Captain Johnson volunteered for a Forward Air Controller (FAC) assignment with Second Battalion Fourth Marines (2/4) and attended Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) School in Coronado, CA. In March 2014, Captain Johnson executed orders to 2/4, assumed the duties of Air Officer, and participated in Exercise Desert Scimitar in Twentynine Palms, CA. and Mountain Training Exercise in Bridgeport, CA. In October 2014, Captain Johnson deployed with 2/4 to Okinawa, Japan in support of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). Among other duties, Captain Johnson acted as the principal advisor to the 2/4 Commanding Officer for the planning and integration of aviation assets in support of his intent for training and expeditionary operations. In addition, Captain Johnson acted as the primary aviation liaison not only to the Commanding Officer of 2/4, but also for the 31st MEU in support of the Korean Marine Exchange Program (KMEP) and was responsible for integrating foreign and domestic aviation assets in support of large scale exercises.

Captain Johnson reported back to HMLA-469 in May 2015, completed his entire refresh syllabus, and attended the Aviation Safety Officer’s course in Pensacola, FL. Captain Johnson acted as the Aviation Safety Officer for six months and was the principal advisor to the Commanding Officer for aviation safety related matters. Captain Johnson was selected as a Night Systems Instructor (NSI) candidate and was certified in December 2015. Additionally, Captain Johnson was selected to attend the Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) Course 2-16 in Yuma, AZ and graduated in April 2016 with the WTI, Air Mission Commander (AMC), and Flight Lead (FL) designations. Captain Johnson then immediately deployed to Okinawa, Japan in support of the HMLA-469 Unit Deployment Program (UDP) and served as a Weapons and Tactics Instructor and the AH-1W Pilot Training Officer.

In April 2017, Captain Johnson was selected for the United States Naval Academy Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Program and attended the George Washington University. He graduated in May 2018 with a Master of Arts Degree in Leadership Education and Development and assumed the duties of 15th Company Officer and Adjunct Leadership Professor. Captain Johnson was promoted to Major on 1 October 2018.

In August 2019, Major Johnson again reported to HMLA-469. He completed the entirety of the AH-1Z conversion syllabus and was recertified as a Weapons and Tactics Instructor, Flight Lead, and Air Mission Commander within six months while serving as the Director of Safety and Standardization. He then deployed on the 31st MEU as the H-1 Detachment OIC where he served as the senior Aviation Combat Element Marine embarked on disaggregated Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) shipping responsible for 106 Marines and seven H-1 Aircraft. Upon redeployment, he assumed the billets of Aircraft Maintenance Officer and Executive Officer. He then assumed Command of Marine Aircraft Group-39 (MAG-39) Headquarters Squadron on 27 July 2021.

Major Johnson is a graduate of the Expeditionary Warfare School and Command and Staff Distance Education Programs. Major Johnson’s awards and decorations include the Air Medal (With Strike/Flight Bronze Numeral "7"), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (with Gold Star), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (with Gold Star), four Sea Service Deployment ribbons, and numerous campaign and service awards.

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing