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Maj. Gen. Michael Rocco, commanding general of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, spoke during a morning colors ceremony aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Dec. 9. The ceremony was held to commemorate the end of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing’s presence in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Photo by Cpl. Melissa Lee

Ceremony honors end of Wing’s operations in Afghanistan

9 Dec 2014 | Cpl. Melissa Lee 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

Marines with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing held a morning colors ceremony aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Dec. 9.

The ceremony was held to honor the end of 3rd MAW’s thirteen-year participation in support of Operation Enduring freedom. It also commemorated the deactivation of Marine Aircraft Group Afghanistan.

Col. Patrick Gramuglia, commanding officer of MAG-A, cased the colors signifying the end of an era.

Gramuglia stressed the importance for Marines to stay ready for anything, even though combat operations have ended.

“Though the 3rd MAW [forward] colors are cased today, the question is not if they will be uncased in the future, the question is when,” said Gramuglia. “It’ll be our job to remain ready for that day.”

The ceremony featured a pageant of Marines who wore different uniforms and combat gear to portray the many roles of Marines who have deployed with various 3rd MAW units.

Maj. Gen. Michael Rocco, commanding general of 3rd MAW, noted that the sacrifices made by service members and families helped lead to the success of the wing’s role in combat operations and Taps was also played by the 3rd MAW Band to remember the service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

“There were Marines and Sailors who did not come back home, there were Marines and Sailors who were purple heart recipients and there were Marines and Sailors who lost parts of their body in support of this nation and in support of our mission in Afghanistan,” said Rocco. “I really wanted to recognize [them] and their families and their sacrifices.”

Now that the final Marines with MAG-A have returned from their ten-month deployment, 3rd MAW continues to train and prepare for anything that might come their way.

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing