MACS-1 History


Marine Air Control Squadron 1 Reinforced (MACS-1 (REIN))’s  lineage began as the first Marine Air Command and Control System unit on 1 September 1943 at Cherry Point, North Carolina. The unit was established as Air Warning Squadron 1 (AWS-1), Marine Air Warning Group, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing. Shortly after activation, in November 1943, AWS-1 relocated to Miramar, San Diego, California, and was reassigned to Marine Fleet Air, West Coast. Subsequently, in January 1944, AWS-1 relocated again to Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii and was reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 22, 4th Marine Base Defense Aircraft Wing and began training for combat missions in support of the Pacific Campaign.

From February 1944 to March 1946, AWS-1 deployed to Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands, Engebi Atoll, Le Shima Okinawa and participated in the Marshall Island and Okinawa Campaigns of the Second World War. During this time frame, 21 April 1945, AWS-1 was renamed Marine Ground Control Intercept Squadron 1 (MGCIS-1).

Upon completion of its Pacific mission, in April 1946, MGCIS-1 relocated back to Miramar, San Diego, California and was reassigned to Marine Air Warning Group 2, Marine Air, West Coast. In July 1947, MGCIS-1 relocated to Camp Pendleton, California.

In July 1950, MGCIS-1 was deployed to the Republic of Korea shortly after the start of the Korean War. From September 1950 to July 1953, MGCIS-1 was deployed to Honshu, Japan; Kimpo, Korea; Wonson, Korea; Yonpo, Korea; Pusan, Korea; Kunsan, Korea; and Mountain Chang-san, Korea. It was also during this timeframe that MGCIS-1 gained its first official call sign, “Coffee Mill.”

From July 1953 to March 1955, MGCIS-1 participated in the defense of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. It was during this timeframe, 15 February 1954, MGCIS-1 was renamed Marine Air Control Squadron 1 (MACS-1). Upon completion of its DMZ mission, in April 1955, MACS-1 redeployed to Atsugi, Japan. In May 1960, MACS-1 relocated to Yuma, Arizona until its deactivation on 1 February 1972. 

On 7 October 1984, MACS-1 was reactivated at Camp Pendleton, California as part of Marine Air Control Group 38, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing. From August 1990 to March 1991, elements of MACS-1 were deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM.

On 26 June 1998, MACS-1 and MACS-7 (REIN) consolidated to form MACS-1 (REIN) and the squadron headquarters was relocated to its present home in Yuma, Arizona. The “reinforced” designator was added to MACS-7 when 2d Light Antiaircraft Missile (LAAM) Battalion was deactivated and its HAWK missile batteries joined the squadron. When MACS-1 and MACS-7 (REIN) were amalgamated, the missions previously allotted to four commands (MACS-1, MACS-7, MTACS-38, and 2d LAAM) were subsumed into a single squadron. No other Marine Air Command and Control System unit has the “reinforced designator in its official nomenclature – a testament to the unit’s heritage, size, and dispersion.

During February 2003, MACS-1 (REIN) deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Subsequently, elements of MACS-1 (REIN) deployed to Iraq from 2004 through late 2009. March 2010, the squadron’s Air Traffic Control Detachment A and Tactical Air Operations Center Detachment deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Since then, from the years 2003 to present, MACS-1 (REIN) sent two rotations of Marines from all seven detachments to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. In 2010, a small detachment of air traffic control Marines from Detachment A was permanently assigned to Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif nornia.

In August 2011, Air Traffic Control Detachment Delta was officially deactivated and Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) sections were added to Air Traffic Control Detachments A, B, and C.

From January 2012 through February 2013, MACS-1 (REIN) sent two rotations of Marines from all six detachments to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. In February 2013, MACS-1 sent the Tactical Air Operations Center Detachment on a deployment to Southwest Asia.
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