Marine Wing Support Squadron 274

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Marine Wing Support Squadron 274
Active 2 June 1986–present
Country United States
Branch United States Marine Corps
Type Aviation ground support squadron
Part of Marine Aircraft Group 29
2nd Marine Aircraft Wing
Garrison/HQ Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point
Nickname(s) Ironmen
Motto(s) "Aeternus Adjuvo"
"Eternal Support"
Engagements Operation Desert Storm
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom
Commanders
Commanding Officer LtCol Sean R. Walsh
Executive Officer Maj Heath Jameson
Sergeant Major SgtMaj Shay J. Henry

Marine Wing Support Squadron 274 (MWSS-274) is an aviation ground support unit of the United States Marine Corps. They are based out of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. The squadron falls under the command of Marine Aircraft Group 29 and the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.

Mission[edit]

Provide Aviation Ground Support to enable a composite Marine Aircraft Group and supporting or attached elements of the Marine Air Control Group to conduct expeditionary operations.

History[edit]

The Gulf War & the 1990s[edit]

Marine Wing Support Squadron 274 (MWSS-274) was activated on 2 June 1986 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina as part of a reorganization of Aviation Ground Support within all Marine Aircraft Wings. The reorganization entailed the consolidation of personnel and equipment from Marine Air Base Squadron 32 (MABS-32), Wing Engineer Squadron 27 (WES-27), and Wing Transportation Squadron 27 (WTS-27) after their deactivation on 2 June 1986.

The Squadron deployed to Southwest Asia in support of aviation operations during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm where it distinguished itself as a combat ready MWSS.

In January 1991, while deployed to Southwest Asia, the Squadron was required to shift its focus from the Gulf War to a Noncombatant Evacuation Operation, Operation Eastern Exit in Somalia. Supporting the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

MWSS-274 found itself deployed to Current Island, Bermuda in support of hurricane relief operations in the wake of Hurricane Andrew.

Global War on Terror and Beyond[edit]

In January 2003 many of the deployable Marines of MWSS-274 were transferred to sister squadron MWSS-271, also based at MCAS Cherry Point. On 12 February 2003 the Marines of 271 and 274 shipped to Kuwait, flying into Ali Al Saleem Airbase. In less than a month these Marines would be providing support to an airstrip in Iraq as part of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Old squadron insignia.

Shortly after the merger of MWSS-271 and 274 in 2003, due to a lack of available personnel within the Marine Logistics Brigade, MWSS-274 was redesignated as MEU Service Support Group 22 (MSSG-22) as part of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (22nd MEU). This was done because many of the military occupational specialties of the Marines in a MWSS are identical to that of the Logistics Combat Element (LCE) required by a MSSG. Departing for sea in 2004, MWSS-274, as part of the 22nd MEU, made Marine Corps history and set a new precedent for ship to shore operations as the unit moved inland to conduct sustained combat operations in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. From February to September 2006 and for the first time in over 10 years MWSS-274 deployed to Al Asad Airbase in Iraq as a complete squadron under her own guidon to conduct Aviation Ground Combat Support.

Marines beside a mud wall as an explosion goes off behind it
U.S. Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 274 destroy an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) cache in Southern Shorsurak, Helmand Province in June 2010.

In December 2007 the squadron was re-designated from a support squadron to a security battalion. In February 2008 they again deployed to Al Asad, Iraq however this time as a security force.

In February 2010, MWSS-274 deployed to Helmand Province in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Several achievements were made during this deployment. One main achievement was by MWSS-274's CFR (Crash Fire Rescue) where they extinguished a fire at Camp Leatherneck's SMU[1]. Marines of this unit's EOD were also outsourced to other units where they provided noteworthy achievements as well[citation needed]. Marines in the Air Operations Company performed work in rebuilding airfields, FOBs, and helicopter pads. NCOs of the unit's armory also established groundbreaking scores on inspections as well as establishing guidelines for field armories based on their set up of a secure compound within the unit's compound. The unit from this deployment earned the Marine Corps Support Squadron of the year award.

In 2012, Marine Wing Support Group 27 was disestablished, and MWSS-274 was transferred to Marine Aircraft Group 29.

From March 2014 to November 2014, MWSS-274(-) deployed to Afghanistan in support of OEF, as the final MWSS detachment to deploy. MWSS-274(-) worked diligently with Redeployment and Retrograde in support of Reset and Reconstitution Operations Group to return salvageable USMC equipment to the U.S. while also disposing of materiel excess. As a result of these accomplishments, MWSS-274 earned II MEF logistics unit of the year and MWSS of the year recognition. In November 2014, MWSS-274 won the MajGen WPT Hill Award for best expeditionary field mess in the Marine Corps. In 2015, The Ironmen were recognized a second year in a row as best field mess within II MEF. In June 2016, MWSS-274 celebrated its 30th birthday.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

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