Weapons and Tactics Instructor 2-13

In April and May of 2013, Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron – One (MAWTS-1) hosted its bi-annual Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course (WTI) at Marine Corps Station Yuma. For 6-weeks, seasoned Marine Corps aircrews work at a wartime tempo in the deserts of Yuma, Arizona. During this 6-week course, Marine Corps aircrews refining their skills and gain experience from world-class instructors in the finest air combat tactics course on the planet. UH-1Y (Yankee) Air Ground Refinement … [Read more...]

Weapons and Tactics Instructor 1-13 – Def Tac, ADGR, and FARPs

Marine Corps Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) and their Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course prepares Marine Corps aviators how to “fly and fight” their aircraft and work with other air assets in a total threat environment. In addition, WTI involves all aspects of Marine Corps aviation and air assets of various other branches of service. WTI curriculum includes preparing KC-130 aircrews to survive in air threats in enemy territory, establishing Forward Area Refueling … [Read more...]

HMLAT-303 Atlas Returns to Naval Air Facility – El Centro

In June 2012, Military Aviation Journal joined HMLAT-303 Atlas when they returned to Naval Air Facility – El Centro (NAFEC) located in the desert 110 miles east of San Diego, California. NAFEC is one of world’s finest training facilities due to the proximity of live fire ranges, desert environment that resembles the terrain of Iraq and Afghanistan, and nearly 365 days a year flying weather. Atlas was “Deployed for Training” (DFT) to El Centro to conduct live fire weapons training, low level … [Read more...]

The Story of a USMC Huey Pilot – Major Paul “Goose” Gosden

Paul, like many aviators, dreamed of flying since he was a young boy. Airshows, trips to the local airport, and being part of the “Topgun” generation added to his desire to fly. Many people have this dream, but very few have the drive and determination to actually make their dreams a reality. Major Paul “Goose” Gosden is just one of those individuals who made his dream happen. Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Paul grew up with his Mom, Dad, two brothers, and sister. Paul’s dad was a … [Read more...]

Lt. Col. William R. Duncan – 1st Landing Signal Officer in the USMC

I was fortunate to have the following article published in the May 2011 issue of the Marine Corps Aviation Association'Journal. for more information on the MCAA, go to their website at www.flymcaa.org.  I first met Lt. Colonel William R. Duncan at the dedication of “Lady Ace 09” in April 2010. He was one of several commanding officers, both past and present, of HMM-165 that attended the event. It was at this dedication I learned that Lt. Col. Duncan had not only been the second commanding … [Read more...]

MV-22 Osprey Reaches Historical Milestone

On February 18, 2011, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar hosted a ceremony with all Osprey squadrons located at the base to mark a milestone in the history of the MV-22 – 100,000 hours of mishap free flight. The MV-22 Osprey is currently replacing the 50+ year old CH-46 Sea Knight (aka "Frog"). The Osprey is as revolutionary as the helicopter was in the 1940’s.  With its tilt rotor design it is able to fly like a fixed wing aircraft, yet land like a helicopter. The Osprey is currently coming … [Read more...]

UH-1Y Retirement – Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

I was fortunate to have the following article published in the Marine Corp Aviation Association Journal in May 2011. More information on the MCAA can be found at www.flymcaa.org.  On March 18, 2011, a ceremonial event was held at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton to celebrate the final flight of the Marine Corps’ workhorse for the last 40 years – The UH-1N Huey. The UH-1N entered service with the USMC in 1971 as a replacement for the  UH-1E, which the Marine Corps had been … [Read more...]

A Reunion of Legends – VMA-214 Reunites at MCAS Yuma

On April 14, 2011 VMA - 214 Black Sheep hosted a historic squadron reunion at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. The reunion was attended by three of the five remaining original Black Sheep Squadron members (Ed Harper, Jim Hill, and Harry Johnson). In addition to these legendary figures, other past and present squadron members, and other VIPs attended the event. Several books have been written about this famous squadron, its pilots, and it’s Commanding Officer Major Boyington. A short history of … [Read more...]

Centennial of Naval Aviation – USMC Style!

In celebration of the Centennial of Naval Aviation (CoNA) and coinciding with the CoNA events at Naval Air Station North Island (San Diego, CA) on February 11th and 12th, 2011, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar opened its flightline to the media to celebrate this historic event. On Friday at 8:00 am, 20 media personnel were given unprecedented access to MCAS Miramar flightline. We were escorted to Base Operations and there we were given a continental breakfast. Parked in front of Base … [Read more...]

HMM-165 “Lady Ace 09” Dedication

On April 30, 2010 MCAS Miramar hosted a dedication of the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum’s newest addition, the “Lady Ace 09.” Approximately 150 Marines, family and friends attended the 35th Anniversary of the evacuation of US Ambassador Martin from Saigon at the end of the Viet Nam War. Current Commanding Officer of HMM 165, Lt. Colonel Oneto (known as “1-2”), found the current CH-46 was the aircraft Captain Berry had flown on that historic flight in 1975. Sergeants Joseph Dickens, … [Read more...]