3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Deactivates Vengeance and Welcomes Scarface
19 Dec 2022

The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) deactivated Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 469, and reactivated
HMLA-367 December 16, 2022, per a Force Design 2030 initiative driven to reshape and enhance U.S. Marine Corps aviation.

HMLA-469, the youngest HMLA in the Wing, was activated aboard Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California June 30, 2009. The squadron’s call sign, “Vengeance” has roots in a speech given by President George W. Bush about the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. The squadron consists of AH-1Z Vipers and UH-1Y Venoms, and approximately 350 personnel.

Although young, Vengeance has established and upheld a strong legacy through skilled flying and participation in missions across the range of military operations.

Vengeance conducted multiple deployments with Marine Expeditionary Units and in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In Helmand Province, Afghanistan in September 2012, Camp Bastion was attacked by 15 heavily armed insurgents who targeted the flight line. HMLA-469 Marines armed and launched aircraft, then defended the squadron compound without suffering any casualties or damage
to aircraft. Vengeance also took part in key humanitarian missions; after multiple earthquakes struck Nepal in April and May of 2015, HMLA-469 provided humanitarian aid and disaster relief as part of Joint Task Force 505 during Operation Sahayogi Haat.

Force Design 2030 directs the divestment of two light attack helicopter squadrons across the Marine Corps. This reallocates funding for other areas of interest to increase lethality for today’s and tomorrow’s threats.

Following the standdown of HMLA-469, HMLA-367 “Scarface,” which dates back to World War II and was temporarily stood down at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay earlier this year, unfurled its storied flag here under Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd MAW.

Following a previous deactivation in 1949, Scarface reactivated in 1966 to support operations in Vietnam, where the squadron earned their legendary callsign and was re-designated as HML-367. Scarface was also the first Marine squadron to fly the AH-1G Cobra Attack Helicopter. Scarface went on to support operations Desert Storm, Desert Shield, and Operation Iraqi Freedom II, including the
Battle of Fallujah. After returning to Camp Pendleton to transition its Huey pilots to the new UH-1Y Venom, Scarface also deployed to Afghanistan in 2009.

“While it is always bitter to roll up a squadron flag, we do so with great pride in the accomplishments and legacy that Vengeance leaves in its wake,” said Maj. Gen. Bradford J. Gering, commanding general of 3rd MAW. “We welcome Scarface to the family and I have no doubt that the strong heritage HMLA-367 brings with it will positively impact our readiness and lethality to fight and win when called.”

Imagery from the ceremony will be available at: www.dvidshub.net/unit/3MAW.

For questions regarding this release, please contact the 3rd MAW Communication Strategy and
Operations Office at 3rdmawmedia@usmc.mil.