MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. --
More than 350 Marines and Sailors gathered at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Bob Hope Theater to celebrate the 97th birthday of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron (MALS) 11, Dec. 7, to reflect on the unit’s heritage and accomplishments over the past year. Established on Dec. 1, 1921, at the Marine Flying Field in Quantico, Virginia, as Flight 1, 2nd Air Squadron, MALS-11, the “Devilfish” proudly carry on their legacy as the “Oldest Squadron in the Corps.”
The birthday ceremony included a cake cutting and recognized three Marines within the unit to pay homage to the lineage of the unit. The Marines included the newest member, Lance Cpl. Isacc Chaves, who checked in Dec. 6; Staff Sgt. Steven Gillhman, who has served the longest with the squadron since July 19, 2009; and Gunnery Sgt. Dominic Easton, who has the most aggregate time served over multiple tours with the squadron.
Totaling over 850 Marines and Sailors, MALS-11 provides aviation logistics support to six tactical squadrons and the F-18 training squadron that encompass Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 11, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.
In the past year, the “Devilfish” actively deployed 143 Marines and Sailors to global locations while providing support to MAG-11. MALS-11 Marines deployed on the SS CURTISS (T-AVB-4) as an expeditionary aviation logistics detachment afloat in support of exercise Valiant Shield 2018, off the shores of Guam. Additionally, MALS-11 also deployed Marines with Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron [VMFA(AW)] 225 in September to Iwakuni, Japan, as part of the Unit Deployment Program. Most importantly, MALS-11 Marines deployed in early January to provide support to the aviation combat element for Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command (SPMAGTF-CR-CC) in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, in which elements of MALS-11 have sustained constant rotational support of since 2015.
In February 2018, MALS-11 competed in the Western Division Matches Competition-in-Arms program in which two Marines were awarded Bronze Medals in the pistol competition and were invited to the Marine Corps Matches in Quantico Virginia. MALS-11 received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award in 2018 for accumulating over 2,000 volunteer hours over a 10-month period. MALS-11 received the 3rd MAW Marion Carl Safety Award and was selected as the 3rd MAW nominee for the Marine Corps Aviation Association Don Davis Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron of the Year Award and Pete Ross Safety Squadron of the Year Award.