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Marine Attack Training Squadron 203
VMAT-203 Insignia
ActiveJuly 1, 1947 - present
CountryUnited States
AllegianceUnited States of America
BranchUnited States Marine Corps
RoleFleet Replacement Squadron
Part ofMarine Aircraft Group 14
2nd Marine Aircraft Wing
Garrison/HQMarine Corps Air Station Cherry Point
Tail CodeKD
LtCol. Daniel S. Fiust
Sergeant MajorSgtMaj. Jeremy P. Johnson
Call sign"MARS"

Marine Attack Training Squadron 203 (VMAT-203) is a squadron in the United States Marine Corps that trains naval aviators to fly the AV-8B Harrier. Also known as the Hawks, the squadron is based at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and falls under the command of Marine Aircraft Group 14 and the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. Their radio callsign is "Mars".


TAV-8A from VMAT-203 at Cherry Point in 1978.

Marine Attack Training Squadron 203 and its predecessors date back to 1947. VMT-1 began the evolution in 1947 as an independent squadron and shortly thereafter became part of Marine Training Group 20. Subsequent evolutions were as a unit of Force Aviation Headquarters Group until 1958, at which time VMT-1 again became a separate squadron of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. Equipped with the TF-9J "Cougar", and the T-33 Shooting Star, and conducted training in swept-wing refresher/ transition, instrument procedures, and instrument ground school.

On July 2, 1967, VMT-1 received its first A-4 Skyhawk and began its transition to the new aircraft. The last F-9 was transferred in December of that year.

In May 1972, the squadron was re-designated VMAT-203. With a new mix of aircraft, the A-4M, and TA-4J, the squadron was tasked to train replacement aircrews to Fleet Marine Force duty.

A two-seater TAV-8B Harrier II from VMAT-203 in flight.

The arrival of V/STOL aviation instituted another era for VMAT-203. The squadron's A-4 SkyHawks were retired and VMAT-203 became the AV-8A/C training squadron as part of Marine Aircraft Group 32. In December 1983, the first AV-8B Harrier II was delivered, and until March 1985, VMAT-203 was assigned the dual missions of training both AV-8A/C pilot and AV-8B replacement aircrews. Having trained its last AV-8A/C pilot in March 1985, VMAT-203's exclusive mission then became the training of AV-8B aircrews and maintenance personnel.

An aircraft from the squadron crashed on December 29, 2008 near Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. The pilot was killed in the crash.[1]

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

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