AL ASAD, Iraq -- With clouds in the sky and dust in their eyes, the Marines with Marines Wing Support Squadron 274 welcome the transfer of authority ceremony here March 8, after a long tenure of being a non-deployed squadron.
The Ironmen replaced MWSS-272, who for the last seven months, have been supporting aviation operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"It has been 10 years since we moved our command flag," said Maj. Alan Solter, executive officer, MWSS-274, Marine Wing Support Group 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.
According to the Official Website for the 2nd MAW at www.2maw.usmc.mil, the headquarters element of MWSS-274 has been located at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., since operations Desert Shield and Storm in the early 1990s.
"At first there was a lot of disbelief since we haven't deployed in so long," said Solter, native of Fallbrook, Calif. "Now the Marines are extremely motivated and happy to do their jobs in an operational environment."
Having a variety of jobs within the squadron, ranging from administration to motor transportation, makes these Ironmen well prepared for any circumstance they could encounter while deployed.
The Marines started training operations in August 2005 in preparation for deployment. However, they have been working endlessly with the community of North Carolina and several countries around the world since they activated June 2, 1986.
They have worked several road construction projects, built schools, renovated an orphanage and even built a Boy Scout camp. They have also worked in several humanitarian operations throughout the world, as well as with Habitat for Humanity.
Keeping mission accomplishment in mind, the Marines of MWSS-274 will, for the next six to seven months, be contributing to the ongoing support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.