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Lt. Col. Michael Moore, the commanding officer of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), cases the squadron battle colors during a transfer of authority ceremony at the Camp Bastion flightline Nov. 14. During the ceremony HMLA-369 relinquished authority to HMLA-169, 3rd MAW (Fwd). HMLA-369 flew more than 17,643 hours and more than 12,869 sorties with the AH-1W Cobras and UH-1Y Hueys combine during their seven month deployment.

Photo by Sgt. Deanne Hurla

‘Gunfighters’ holster weapons, transfer authority to ‘Vipers’

14 Nov 2010 | Sgt. Deanne Hurla

In the crisp afternoon air on Nov. 14, the Marines of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), transferred authority to HMLA-169, 3rd MAW (Fwd).

Lt. Col. Michael Moore, the commanding officer of HMLA-369, the “Gunfighters,” transferred authority to Lt. Col. Brendan Reilly, the commanding officer of HMLA-169, the “Vipers.”

The Gunfighters mission was to provide aerial reconnaissance, transport cargo and personnel, provide overwatch for convoys and patrols and escort medical evacuation helicopters.

“Seven months ago, I stood here and said ‘it was time to get to work’,” said Moore, during his farewell speech.

In the last seven months, the squadron has gone above and beyond their share of work.

Their AH-1W Cobras flew more than 11,665 hours and more than 8,457 sorties. Their UH-1Y Hueys flew more than 5, 978 hours and more than 4, 412 sorties. HMLA-369 participated in more than 20 named operations in support of coalition forces in Regional Command (Southwest).

“Now our work is done,” Moore concluded.

Even as HMLA-369 Marines prepare to make the trip home, HMLA-169 Marines are already settling into the daily work that will be their area of responsibility for coming months.

“[The Gunfighters] set the conditions for success and we’re ready to execute,” said Reilly.

With this mindset, HMLA-169 will continue the mission of supporting and watching over coalition forces in Regional Command (Southwest).


3rd Marine Aircraft Wing