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3rd MAW 80th Birthday

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3rd Marine Aircraft Wing celebrates 80th birthday

9 Nov 2022 | 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) celebrates its 80th birthday on November 10th, 2022. As the Aviation Combat Element (ACE) of I Marine Expeditionary Force, 3rd MAW has performed the six functions of Marine aviation whenever and wherever required since its activation at Cherry Point, North Carolina on November 10th, 1942.

To mark this important milestone in the Wing’s history and continued legacy, U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Bradford Gering, commanding general of 3rd MAW sends the following message to his Marines and Sailors:

As we celebrate our Corps’ 247th Birthday and the 80th Anniversary of this amazing Aircraft Wing, take immense pride in being a part of the force that fights and wins regardless of the circumstances. Our Commandant tells us in his message this year that, “it falls on Marines who are in uniform today to write the next chapter of our Corps.” To me this speaks to innovation and how we will fight in the future. The Marines and Sailors of 3rd MAW are leading in this effort and I'm amazed with all that you have accomplished over the past year.  You are the men and women in the arena who are writing this next chapter.  I am more than confident that this next chapter you write will be as brilliant as any chapter that has been written in our 247 years of existence.  I remain incredibly proud and humbled to command the “Hammer of I MEF.” Happy Birthday Marines!

Consisting of four flying groups, an air control and support group, and a headquarters squadron, 3rd MAW is the Marine Corps’ largest aircraft wing and is headquartered at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar, with additional units at MCAS Camp Pendleton and MCAS Yuma.

Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 11 is headquarteredat MCAS Miramar and is comprised of Marine Fighter Attack Squadrons that fly the F/A-18C Hornet and F-35C Lightning II jets, an aerial refueling and transport squadron that flies the KC-130J Super Hercules, and an aviation logistics squadron. MAG-11 provides offensive air support, anti-air warfare capabilities and aerial refueling and air transport of personnel and equipment worldwide and regularly provides Marine Fighter Attack Squadrons to U.S. Navy carrier air wings for deployment as part of carrier strike groups.

MAG-13 is headquartered at MCAS Yuma and is comprised of Marine Fighter Attack Squadrons that fly the F-35B Lightning II jet, as well as an unmanned aerial vehicle squadron that flies the MQ-9A Reaper. MAG-13 provides task organized forces capable of conducting offensive air support, anti-air warfare, and aviation reconnaissance from expeditionary sites, both afloat and ashore. The short-takeoff, vertical landing (STOVL) capable F-35B Lightning II jets are fifth generation stealth fighters that are capable of operating from U.S. Navy amphibious assault ships as well as improvised runways in austere environments.

MAG-16 is headquartered at MCAS Miramar and is comprised of heavy and medium-lift squadrons that fly the CH-53E Super Stallion and MV-22B Osprey aircraft, as well as an aviation logistics squadron. MAG-16 provides premier assault support to Marine, joint, and coalition forces from advanced bases, expeditionary airfields or aircraft capable ships worldwide and regularly provides composite squadrons to Marine Expeditionary Units.

Marine Air Control Group (MACG) 38 is headquartered at MCAS Miramar and has units stationed at MCAS Camp Pendleton and MCAS Yuma. MACG-38 is comprised of communication and command-and-control squadrons, Marine Wing Support Squadrons (MWSS) and a Low Altitude Air Defense (LAAD) battalion. MACG-38 provides all-domain aviation command and control and aviation ground support to enable the six functions of Marine aviation, anywhere, anytime.

MAG-39 is headquartered at MCAS Camp Pendleton and is comprised of light-attack and utility squadrons and medium-lift squadrons that fly the AH-1Z Viper, UH-1Y Venom and MV-22B Osprey aircraft, as well as an aviation logistics squadron. MAG-39 provides combat-ready naval expeditionary forces capable of conducting combat aviation support, aviation ground support, and aviation logistics.

Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 3 is located at MCAS Miramar and provides administrative and supply support to the 3rd MAW staff.

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing remains combat-ready, deployable on short notice, and lethal when called into action.

For questions regarding this release, please contact the 3rd MAW Communication Strategy and Operations office at