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Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 373, Marine Wing Support Group 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, share a few jokes before departing for Iraq from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Sept. 30. The squadron will send more than 500 Marines to Iraq during the course of one month, in support of airfield operations and coalition forces. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher O'Quin) (Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher O'Quin

MWSS - 373 heads back to Iraq for OIF

28 Sep 2008 | Lance Cpl. Christopher O'Quin

One of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing’s squadrons recently returned to Iraq to join in the efforts of other Marine squadrons in the region.

Marine Wing Support Squadron 373, Marine Wing Support Group 37 will provide airfield maintenance, security and communication for Marine squadrons during their seven-month deployment.

“We originally were supposed to perform aviation ground support, but because of shifting needs of I Marine Expeditionary Force and scaling down of forces, we have the responsibility of providing security forces,” said Lt. Col. Todd M. Jenkins, the commanding officer of the squadron. “A good portion of the squadron will have a whole different mission – security forces – for the other element we’ll be accomplishing the same mission with the rest of the squadron personnel.”

The squadron has supported I Marine Expeditionary Force with more than five deployments and augmented Marines and sailors to Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001.

During the year, MWSS-373, trained at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., at the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course as well as Exercise Desert Talon, to prepare for deployment.

“After all the training we did for the past year, I can say we are ready for any foreseeable threat,” said Lance Cpl. Robert J. Werner, an administrative clerk with the squadron. “With the patrols we performed, the time we spent in the field and scenarios we practiced, I feel confident about the next several months.”

The command is grateful to all the extended families that have supported the men and women of the squadron through the demanded paces of pre-deployment work up, explained Jenkins.

“The ‘Aces’ are excited to once again meet the mission requirements of 3rd MAW and our nation,” added Jenkins.


3rd Marine Aircraft Wing