Aviation combat element

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In the United States Marine Corps, the aviation combat element or air combat element (ACE) is the air arm of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF). It provides rotary-wing, tiltrotor, and fixed-wing aircraft, support equipment, pilots, maintenance personnel, as well as command and control assets to the commander.[1]

Role within the MAGTF[edit]

The majority of aircraft usage within the MAGTF is for close air support or transport for the ground combat element (GCE) or logistics combat element (LCE), however, other specialized missions are available. The six main functions include: assault support, anti-air warfare, offensive air support, electronic warfare, control of aircraft and missiles, and aerial reconnaissance.[2]

Organization[edit]

The size of the ACE varies in proportion to the size of the MAGTF. A Marine Expeditionary Force has a Marine Aircraft Wing or MAW. A Marine Expeditionary Brigade holds a Marine Aircraft Group or MAG, reinforced with a variety of aircraft squadrons and support personnel. The various Marine Expeditionary Units command a reinforced squadron, with various types of aircraft mixed into a single unit (known as a composite squadron). Generally, MEF postings are permanent, while MEBs and MEUs rotate their ACE, GCE, and LCE twice annually. 1st and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wings are unique in that they are subordinate to III MEF and I MEF, respectively, while all other equivalent units numerical designators match the MEF to which attached.

Hierarchy of Marine Aviation units[edit]

1st Marine Aircraft Wing[edit]

ACE of III Marine Expeditionary Force
USMC - 1MAW.png
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 1 MWHS-1 insignia 2010 v2.png America's Finest

Marine Aircraft Group 12[edit]

Mag12.gif
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 Mals12 insig.jpg Marauders
Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242 VMFA AW 242 insignia.png Bats

Marine Aircraft Group 24[edit]

Mag24 insignia.jpg
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 24 MALS-24 insignia.png Warriors
Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 362 Hmm362logo.gif Ugly Angels
Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363 HMH-363 insignia.jpg Red Lions
Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 HMH-463 insignia.png Pegasus

Marine Aircraft Group 36[edit]

MAG36.gif
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 36 Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 36 insignia.png Bladerunner
Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 VMGR-152patchscan.jpg Sumos
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 VMM-262.PNG Flying Tigers
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 HMM-265 new patch.PNG Dragons
UDP squadrons from II and III MEFs

Marine Air Control Group 18[edit]

Macg-18insignia.jpg
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 18 Mtacs18.jpg
Marine Air Control Squadron 4 Macs-4insignia.jpg
Marine Air Support Squadron 2 MASS2-LOGO SMALL.jpg
Marine Wing Communications Squadron 18 Mwcs18.jpg

Marine Wing Support Group 17[edit]

MWSG17insignia.jpg
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 Mwss171.jpg America's Squadron
Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 Mwss172.jpg Firebirds

2nd Marine Aircraft Wing[edit]

ACE of II Marine Expeditionary Force
USMC - 2MAW.png
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2 MWHS2insignia.jpg Snake Eyes
The Deuce

Marine Aircraft Group 14[edit]

MAG-14 insignia.jpg
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14 Mals14 insig.jpg Dragons
Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Training Squadron 1 VMAQ-1 patch.png Banshee
Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 2 MCS149.jpg Jesters
Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 3 VMAQ-3 insignia.jpg Moon Dogs
Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4 VMAQ4.jpg Seahawks
Marine Attack Training Squadron 203 Vmat203.jpg Hawks
Marine Attack Squadron 223 Vma223a insig.jpg Bulldogs
Marine Attack Squadron 231 Vma231-logo.gif Ace of Spades
Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 Vmgr252 insig.jpg Otis
Marine Attack Squadron 542 Vma542.jpg Tigers
Marine Wing Support Squadron 271 MWSS-271.png Workhorse of the Wing

Marine Aircraft Group 26[edit]

New MAG-26 insignia.PNG
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 26 Mals26reintransb.png Patriots
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 162 VMM-162.jpg Golden Eagles
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 VMMT-204.jpg Raptors
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261 Vmm-261 squadron insignia.jpg Raging Bulls
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 VMM263.jpg Thunder Chicken
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 264 Vmm-264insignia.jpg Black Knights
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 266 Hmm266-a.jpg Fighting Griffins
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 Vmm-365 squadron insignia.jpg Blue Knights
Marine Wing Support Squadron 272 MWSS-272.png Untouchables

Marine Aircraft Group 29[edit]

MAG29.jpg
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 29 MALS-29.jpg Wolverines
Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 167 Hmla167 insig.jpg Warriors
Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 269 Hmla-269.jpg Gunrunners
Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 302 HMT-302.png Phoenix
Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366 Hmh366.gif Hammerheads
Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 Hmh461newpatch.jpg Ironhorse
Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 464 Hmh464-a.jpg Condors
Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 467 HMLA-467 insignia.png Sabers
Marine Wing Support Squadron 274 MWSS-274 new insignia.png Ironmen

Marine Aircraft Group 31[edit]

MAG31beaufort.jpg
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 Mals-31.jpg Stingers
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115 VMFA-115 insignia.jpg Silver Eagles
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 VMFA-122 insignia werewolve.png Werewolves
Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 224 VMFA-224 insignia.jpg Bengals
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 VMFA-251.png Thunderbolts
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 VMFA-312.png Checkerboards
Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 VMFAT-501.png Warlords
Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 533 VMFA-533.png Hawks
Marine Wing Support Squadron 273 Mwss273 insig.jpg Sweathogs

Marine Air Control Group 28[edit]

MACG-28 insignia.gif
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 28 MTATCS-28 insignia.GIF
Marine Air Control Squadron 2 Marine Air Control Squadron High Quality Insignia.png Eyes of the MAGTF
Marine Air Support Squadron 1 MASS-1 squadron insignia.png Nomads
Marine Wing Communications Squadron 28 MWCS28.jpg Spartans
2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion insignia.png Death from Below
Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 2 VMU-2 new insignia.png Night Owls

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing[edit]

ACE of I Marine Expeditionary Force
3MAW embossed.png
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 3 MWHS-3.gif

Marine Aircraft Group 11[edit]

MAG-11 insignia.png
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 11 MALS-11png insignia.png Devilfish
Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101 VMFAT-101 insignia.png Sharpshooters
Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 121 VMFA(AW)-121 insignia.png Green Knights
Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 225 VMFA (AW) 225 insignia.png Vikings
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 VMFA-232 embossed.png Red Devils
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 VMFA-314patch.png Black Knights
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323 VMFA-323 insignia.png Death Rattlers
Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352 VMGR-352 squadron insignia.png Raiders

Marine Aircraft Group 13[edit]

MAG-13 insignia.png
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 13 K01mq2-webinsigniablkwidows.jpg Black Widows
Marine Attack Squadron 211 Vma211 insig.jpg Wake Island Avengers
Marine Attack Squadron 214 VMA214-Blacksheep.svg Black Sheep
Marine Attack Squadron 311 Vma311-a.jpg Tomcats
Marine Attack Squadron 513 VMA-513 insignia.jpg Flying Nightmares

Marine Aircraft Group 16[edit]

MAG-16 insignia.jpg
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 16 MALS-16 insignia.png Forerunners
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161 VMM-161 insignia.jpg Greyhawks
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163 Hmm163-a.jpg Ridge Runners
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 165 HMM-165 insignia.png White Knights
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 166 Official VMM-166 Patch.JPG Sea Elk
Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361 HMH-361 insignia.png Flying Tigers
Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462 HMH-462 insignia.png Heavy Haulers
Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 465 HMH-465 insignia.png Warhorse
Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466 HMH-466 insignia.png Wolfpack

Marine Aircraft Group 39[edit]

MAG-39 insignia.png
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 39 Mals39logo.jpg Hellhounds
Marine Medium Helicopter Training Squadron 164 HMMT-164 Green.JPG Knightriders
Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169 HMLA-169 insignia.png Vipers
Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 HMLA-267.png Stingers
Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 HMM-268 insignia.png Red Dragons
Marine Light Attack Training Squadron 303 HMT-303.png Atlas
Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364 HMM 364 LOGO.jpg Purple Foxes
Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367 HMLA 367 insignia.png Scarface
Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369 HMLA-369 insignia.PNG Gunfighters
Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469 HMLA-469 Logo.jpg Vengeance

Marine Air Control Group 38[edit]

MACG-38 insignia.png
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 38 MTACS 38.png
Marine Air Control Squadron 1 MACS1.gif Falconers
Marine Air Support Squadron 3 MASS-3 squadron insignia.png Blacklist
Marine Wing Communications Squadron 38 MWCS38.jpg Red Lightning
3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion 3rdLAADBn.png Stingers
Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 1 VMU-1 squadron insignia.png Watchdogs
Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 3 VMU-3 logo.png Phantoms

Marine Wing Support Group 37[edit]

MWSG-37 insignia.png
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Wing Support Squadron 371 MWSS 371 new insignia.jpg Sand Sharks
Marine Wing Support Squadron 372 MWSS-372 unit insignia.jpg Diamondbacks
Marine Wing Support Squadron 373 MWSS-373 insignia.png Ace Support
Marine Wing Support Squadron 374 MWSS-374 insignia.png Rhinos

4th Marine Aircraft Wing[edit]

ACE of Marine Forces Reserve
USMC - 4MAW.png
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
4th Marine Aircraft Wing Training Support Group 4thMAWTSG Logo.jpg

Marine Aircraft Group 41[edit]

Mag41 insig.jpg
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 41 MALS-41 insignia.PNG Desperados
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 112 VMFA-112 squadron insignia.jpg Cowboys
Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 234 VMGR-234.png Rangers
Marine Fighter Training Squadron 401 VMFT-401.gif Snipers
Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 764 Hmm764logo.gif Moonlight

Marine Aircraft Group 49[edit]

MAG-49.jpg
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 49 MALS-49.jpg Magicians
Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452 Vmgr452 insig.jpg Yankees
Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 772 Hmh7723.jpg Hustler
Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 773 Hmla-773.gif Red Dogs
Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 774 HMM774WILDGOOSE.jpg Wild Goose

Marine Air Control Group 48[edit]

MACG-48 insignia.jpg
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 48 MTACS48.jpg
Marine Air Control Squadron 23 Marine Air Control Squadron 23 insignia.png
Marine Air Control Squadron 24 Macs24.jpg
Marine Air Support Squadron 6 MASS 6 unit logo.jpg Lighthouse
Marine Wing Communications Squadron 48 MWCS-48.png Roar

Marine Wing Support Group 47[edit]

MWSG47Logo.gif
Squadron Name Insignia Nickname
Marine Wing Support Squadron 471 MWSS-471 insignia.jpg
Marine Wing Support Squadron 472 MWSS-472.PNG Dragons
Marine Wing Support Squadron 473 MWSS-473 logo.PNG

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marine Aviation homepage
  2. ^ "MAWTS-1 hones warfighting edge". Naval Aviation News. Archived from the original on 2007-08-21. Retrieved 2007-04-01.