CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan --
Marine Aircraft Group 40 transferred responsibilities as the aviation combat element of Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan to 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) during a transfer of authority ceremony, April 4.
Brig. Gen. Andrew W. O'Donnell Jr., the 3rd MAW (Fwd) commanding general, assumed command from Col. Kevin S. Vest, MAG-40's commanding officer.
"Some of the 'bumper stickers' [from this deployment] are just under 38,000 flight hours and 141,000 passengers moved, in one of the most distributed battle spaces the Marine Corps has ever fought," said Vest.
MAG-40 will now return home to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., after a year away from their families. As MAG-40 Marines begin their travel home, 3rd MAW (Fwd) Marines will continue the fight.
"Nothing changes out here, we are here to support these Marines you see behind you, the Marines on the flight line and even the Marines flying right now," said O'Donnell. "This is what we do."
He went on to say "we're out here to support the Marines on the ground. Those are the Marines actually doing the job."
The 3rd MAW (Fwd) will be the aviation combat element for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) when it assumes command later this month.