Bravo Battery Marines Tour Washington


Marines with Bravo Battery, 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, packed their bags and headed to Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., for a lesson on Marine Corps history and a tour of the nation’s capital, Dec. 15-19.

According to 1st Sgt. Wesley O. Turner, the first sergeant for Bravo Battery, the trip was designed to give the battery’s Marines a chance to learn about the lineage of Marines past and to honor the sacrifice of previous generations of service members.

“The trip was designed to give the Marines background on their history and put it into perspective,” said Turner, a native of Kansas City, Mo. “Each day of the trio was intended to teach the Marines something different.”

During the trip, the Marines of the battery occupied a squad bay at the Marine Corps’ Officer Candidates School at Quantico. After claiming their racks and sorting out their gear, they prepared for day one, which included tackling the Tarzan Course at OCS.

According to Capt. Konrad N. Reese, commanding officer of Bravo Battery, the course gave the junior leaders within the battery a chance to challenge their Marines and build camaraderie.

“We chose to have the Marines take on the course to build unit cohesion and assess their mental courage,” said Reese. “Nothing makes a Marine more willing to overcome their fears than having everyone he knows cheering him on.”

The Tarzan Course was a blast, said Pfc. Isaac E. Moir, a gunner with the battery.

“The course wasn’t a cake walk,” said Moir, a native of Aurora, Colo. “Once you make it to around the half way point there is very little feeling left in your forearms. However, for me, the best part was after I finished and watching everyone else’s different approaches to the obstacles and cheering them on.”

On day two, the Marines visited the National Museum of the Marine Corps, outside the main gate of the Crossroads of the Marine Corps, as Quantico is known. According to Sgt. Anthony J. Zeitz, a section with 2nd Platoon, the visit gave the Marines a chance to learn about and view the history of the Corps and help give perspective to the junior leaders within the battery.

“I think for many of the Marines, myself included, going to the museum brought out who we are as Marines and reignited the flame that inspired us to join,” said Zeitz, a native of Olcott, N.Y.

During the third day, the Marines visited Arlington National Cemetery and toured the National Mall.

At the nation’s cemetery for service members, the Marines trod hallowed ground where more than 400 thousand service members are buried. During the tour, the battery’s Marines viewed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a living monument to the sacrifice of service members across the generations, and stood solemnly during a burial ceremony.

“Visiting the cemetery opened my eyes,” said Moir. “It’s one thing to hear how many lives were lost but it is and completely jaw dropping to see it. It was an intense atmosphere.”

After touring the cemetery, the Marines explored the other monuments and memorials around the National Capital Region, a city rich with history, said Zeitz.

“A lot of guys bonded over the memorials,” said Zeitz. “Many of the Marines had family who fought in pervious wars but didn’t know about it until then.”

On the final day of the trip, the Marines visited Marine Barracks Washington, home of the Commandant of the Marine Corps. A special tour guide, First Lady of the Marine Corps Ellyn Dunford, explained the history and significance of the installation at 8th and I.

“The tour was amazing,” said Zeitz. “The house is full of history and Mrs. Dunford explaining everything to us, which made the experience even more unique.”

According to Reese, the battery’s leaders see the benefits of connecting their Marines to the past and providing a link to the Corps’ history and hope to make similar trips in the future.

“I believe the trip had a great impact on the Marines,” said Reese. “Our goal now is to make this experience an annual event for the battery.”


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MACG-28 Marines, Sailors Return From Deployment

CHERRY POINT, N.C. – More than 200 Marines and Sailors with Marine Air Control Group 28 (Forward) returned to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Jan. 13 and 16, ending a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan.

While deployed, MACG-28 provided Marine airspace command and control in support of Regional Command (Southwest), the Afghan military led coalition of U.S. and NATO Forces in southwestern Afghanistan.

“The Marines and Sailors of MACG-28 (Fwd.) performed exceptionally well,” said Maj. Jimmy Hicks, the executive officer of MACG-28 (Fwd.). “Working very long hours, seven days a week and in some very arduous remote conditions, all Marines and Sailors went above and beyond. I’m very proud of everything they accomplished.”

During the deployment, MACG-28 was instrumental in a smooth transition of tactical control of airspace between the Marine Corps and the Air Force. According to Hicks, a highlight of the deployment was the movement of the TPS-59 radar.

“A lot of work was put into the handover of airspace control to the Air Force which enabled us to send home the TPS-59 and the controllers and maintainers responsible for its operation,” said Hicks. “This was significant because it was a sign that we were quickly reducing capability in Afghanistan and coming closer to the end of mission.”

As part of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Fwd.), MACG-28 acted as a force multiplier for all Marine aircraft assets in RC(SW), said Hicks.
“We were assigned as a subordinate, separate and detached command under 2nd MAW (Fwd.),” he said. “We enabled the flying squadrons of the wing through timely and responsive aviation command and control to process air support requests, coordinate surface fires, positively control aircraft, and maintain the computer networks and systems that support the wing.”

At Cherry Point, family members packed the air station’s chapel to welcome their loved ones home.

“I’m feeling really anxious and excited for him to get back,” said Janelle Williams, wife of Petty Officer Zackary Williams, a corpsman with Marine Air Control Squadron 2. “It’s been so long and I just want him to see us again.”

Donna Wynn made a nine-hour car ride from Georgia with her husband in order to see her son Sgt. James Wynn, a meteorology and oceanography forecaster with Marine Wing Support Squadron 272 out of Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., return safely.

“My heart started beating really fast when we made it on to the air station,” said Donna. “I’m ready to see him again and know he is safe.”

Emotions grew as white buses carried Marines and Sailors to the chapel where they reunited with their families.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet that I’m back with my family,” said Wynn. “However, it’s good to be home…it really is.”

Cherry Point Service Members Inspire Students

Although they knew it was career day at school, the students at Graham A. Barden Elementary School had no idea who they were going to meet.

“I want to be a scientist when I grow up,” said one student.

“I want to be a Marine,” another chimed in.

Four local service members, along with civil servants, emergency responders and a host of others filed into the school with the tools of their trades recently to give the children a taste of what it is they do on a day-to-day basis.

“At this age most of the children don’t have hands-on experience with career options that are available to them,” said Kim Loucks, school counselor and career day coordinator. “I could hear kids talking in the hallways about how excited they were to see the Marines.”

Loucks said a lot of the children are able to relate to service members who participated due to the large number of military families represented among the students. They were eager to talk about their parents’ jobs.

“I really enjoyed talking to the kids,” said Sgt. Nathan M. Lineback, the hazardous control center non-commissioned officer in charge with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14. “We talked about everything you can think of, from what my ribbons and badges mean to how to become a Marine. It was great because they asked a lot of questions.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Lineback’s fellow Cherry Point volunteers Petty Officer 1st Class Nasiem Hawashem, a hospital corpsman with Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point; Petty Officer 2nd Class Joy Edwards, a logistics specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron; and Cpl. Andrea Dickerson, a combat correspondent with the Joint Public Affairs Office.

It was evident by the smiles on their faces that most of the students enjoyed the visitors’ presentations.

“We could not have done this without the help of all the volunteers, especially the service members,” said Loucks. “Career day was a success thanks to them. It was great to have their presence as role models.”

Cpl. Andrea Cleopatra Dickerson

Marine Harrier Squadron Heads To Pacific

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. – More than 130 Marines from Marine Attack Squadron 542 departed Cherry Point, June 5, en route to the Pacific to provide aviation support with the squadron’s AV-8B Harriers as part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.

An advance party of more than 30 Marines along with their Harriers left the air station, June 1, for the roughly 6-month deployment, maintaining the 31st MEU’s mission as the nation’s force in readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Marines will make stops in Hawaii, Wake Island, Japan, the Philippines and Hong Kong, averaging 12-hour-plus work days, said Gunnery Sgt. Chris L. Riley, an Efland, N.C., native, who has gone on this deployment cycle once before.

Other countries covet the opportunity to train with the Harrier because of its unique ability to provide precise, agile close-air support, explained Riley, the squadron adjutant.

“Our guys are mad when they miss by three feet, dropping a bomb from 20,000 feet,” said Riley. “They practice so much.”

The Marines’ emphasis throughout is maintaining a fluent workflow during an on-the-fly tempo, much like they’d experience during a deployment to Afghanistan, said Riley.

“They’re practicing for immediacy in an environment they’re not used to,” he said. “In a combat situation, time is of the essence.”

The Marines will also maintain readiness for the unknown. Harriers from the 26th MEU were some of the first forces called upon to defend the Libyan people from Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s regime during Operation Odyssey Dawn in 2011.

Marines’ ability to quickly adapt paired with the Harriers’ capabilities keeps the Harrier community busy, which requires an integral commitment from the Marine family members.

“It’s challenging, no doubt,” said Casey Wallace, wife of Harrier pilot, Capt. Michael Wallace.

This is the second deployment the Wallaces, natives of LaGrange, Ky., and their two daughters, 5 and 2, have experienced together. Casey said the separation creates a greater sense of appreciation for one another, which isn’t easy for two young girls to understand.


2nd MAW Flies Medal of Honor Recipient Over Louisville Air Show

2nd Marine Aircraft Wing sent Marines and Harriers to the Thunder Over Louisville Air Show in Louisville, Ky., to showcase current Marine Corps aviation, April 21.

Thunder Over Louisville is one of five events scheduled this year to celebrate the Marine Corps Aviation Centennial. The next event is the 2012 MCAS Cherry Point Air Show “Celebrate the Heritage” May 4-6.

Lt. Col. Robert J. Fails, the executive officer for Marine Attack Training Squadron 203, used a two-seat variant of the AV-8B Harrier to fly Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Dakota Meyer over the air show grounds.

Later during the event, Capt. Howard L. Longwell, the quality assurance officer for Marine Attack Squadron 542, performed a Level III Harrier demonstration for those in attendance. This demonstration is performed by the same aircraft and Marines who train and deploy in support of real-world contingencies, including on-going operations in Afghanistan.

In attendance for this centennial celebration was Maj. Gen. Jon M. Davis, the 2nd MAW commanding general. Davis commands one of the three active-duty aircraft wings for the Marine Corps and earlier in the year welcomed home Marines and Sailors who were deployed in Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Roman Yurek

Marine Corps Commandant Checks In On Cherry Point


Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos visited Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point April 18 with Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Micheal P. Barrett.

During the visit, the commandant discussed the state of the Corps, his vision for the future and provided guidance to more than 1,500 officers and senior enlisted at the station theater.

Maj. Gen. Jon M. Davis, commanding general of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, greeted Amos and Barrett outside the tower on the Cherry Point flight line.

Lt. Gen. John Paxton, commanding general of II Marine Expeditionary Force, and Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Gorry, commanding general of Marine Corps Installations East, were also on hand for the visit.

P-38 Lightning Legacy Lives On

In 1941 the Lockheed Martin P-38 Lightning launched into service in the U.S. Army Air Corps and was instrumental in the success of American campaigns in World War II. With the same name, Lockheed Martin is carrying on the Lightning legacy with the F-35 Lightning II.

The latter, like its predecessor, is considered far ahead of its time.
When announcing the official name of the Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter July 7, 2006, Gen. T. Michael Moseley, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, said, “Today we name the aircraft after two great legacy aircraft (speaking also of the English Electric Lightning), two great pieces of air power history. Tomorrow this Lightning II will make a name for itself.”

In a word, power comes to mind when most discuss and compare the all-everything capabilities of the P-38 and F-35.

“What made the P-38 unique for its time was the decision to opt for twin engines,” said Karl Zingheim, exhibits manager at the San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum. “Since the Army had a preference for inline engines and the best American inline engine was the Allison, Lockheed went for two of them to deliver the necessary power.”

Zingheim said the P-38 played a big part during World War II in the Pacific theater, where it became the dominant U.S. Army fighter. It was capable of photo reconnaissance missions as well as duty as a fighter-bomber and night-fighter. The P-38 was the multirole fighter for its time.

The F-35 has the capabilities to play a major role in future air campaigns.

“The F-35 Lightning II is a supersonic, multirole, stealth fighter designed to meet the future combat requirements of the United States and allied governments,” said Laurie A Quincy, F-35 Media Relations Manager for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.

The F-35 is suited for air-to-air and air-to-ground combat, surveillance and reconnaissance gathering, electronic warfare and command and control roles, said Quincy. Like the P-38 in its era, the F-35 can operate in virtually any situation and no other contemporary fighter has the versatility and combined capabilities.
The P-38 was the first fighter to exceed 400 miles per hour, said Zingheim.

Similarly, the F-35 is capable of reaching great feats in comparison to other aircraft of its generation. It will be the world’s most advanced multirole fighter with the most powerful engine ever flown in a fighter, the Pratt and Whitney F135 engine, said Quincy.
Considering the magnitude of each aircrafts’ capabilities, production isn’t easy.

“The P-38 did go through an extensive development process before becoming the fighter that it was,” said Zingheim. “There was enough faith in the design concept that the Army and Lockheed Martin patiently hung on and wrung out any problems with the aircraft.”

Similarly, the F-35 program is the largest defense program in U.S. history, said Quincy.

The production process for the F-35 continues, and 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing furthers the pursuit with its F-35 variant, the F-35B, at Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

“The Marine Corps has to be ready to fight across the spectrum of war; a force that is most ready when the nation is least ready. The F-35B gives us the capability to do just that,” said Maj. Gen. Jon M. Davis, commanding general of 2nd MAW.

More than 70 years removed from the original Lightning’s groundbreaking first flight, its power and legacy continues today through its successor.

“The F-35 is going to make history as one of the great fighters,” said Quincy.

Lance Cpl. Stephen Stewart


Different Missions Set Standard For MAGTF

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. — Interventions in Panama and Grenada during the 1980s highlighted the conditions when Marine Air-Ground Task Forces should be used and when other methods are preferred. Though they had nearly identical objectives, one solution was not fit for both.

Urgent Fury took place in Grenada in 1983, and Just Cause occurred in Panama in 1989. Both were launched to topple unelected governments, neutralize opposing forces, restore the government to the people of their respective countries and protect Americans and American-interests in the region. The prelude to Urgent Fury played out over the course of one week, curtailing the planning phase. According to official Marine Corps histories on Urgent Fury, on Oct. 19, 1983, a Communist group with backing from the Cubans deposed the government of the Caribbean island. There were more than 600 Americans on the island possibly in mortal danger according to Fred Allison, a historian at Headquarters Marine Corps.

Secretary of State George P. Shultz told the press the President believed it necessary to act before American citizens might be hurt or taken captive, according to official histories. Requiring a force to deal with the situation immediately, the 22nd Marine Amphibious Unit was diverted to invade Grenada Oct. 25, 1983. MAUs were precursors to today’s Marine expeditionary units.

Just Cause, however, was different. According to “Operation Just Cause: The Incursion Into Panama,” an official history on the conflict, relations with Gen. Manuel A. Noriega, the president of Panama, were progressively heading downhill with beatings, interrogations and shootings of service members and Department of Defense civilian employees during the 1980’s. Over several years during which Southern Command made contingency plans, it became increasingly clear that removing Noriega from power would require American forces.

Retired Maj. Gen. Thomas A. Braaten, who was on the Southern Command staff at the time of Just Cause, said the big difference between the two operations was American forces already had bases and troops in the Panama Canal Zone. However, this meant that Panamanian Defense Forces were already in close proximity to American forces.

“If you don’t already have a foothold on the land, being able to operate quickly from the water directly to the spot where the action is going to take place is a huge advantage that Marines bring,” Braaten said. “We bring our own aviation assets, our own close air support, our own everything.”

Having a hold in Panama already, American forces were able to train in preparation for the specific operations. Units involved in the invasion were brought in, trained, and rotated out to gain familiarity with the layout of Panama. Because there were already Army helicopters inside the Panama Canal Zone, bringing a full MAGTF wasn’t necessary, according to Braaten.

The 22nd MAU had already trained for a myriad of possible contingencies prior to the Grenada operation. This training and previous experience of the personnel would prove useful, according to official histories. Able to forgo the additional training phase required for Operation Just Cause, the battalion landing team and air combat element of the 22nd MAU launched the invasion after only 30 hours notice to plan and prepare.

Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 261 (Reinforced), provided air support and transport, successfully launched three airborne assaults to capture vital points of the island, a medical evacuation, and evacuation of civilians, according to Allison. Marine AH-1 Cobras also pulled extra duties providing air support for Army units on the south side of the island, which resulted in two Cobras being shot down and three Marines killed and one wounded. The amphibious and airborne assaults quickly put the island in American control.

A similar story unfolded in Panama six years later. After years of planning and training, Army and Marine forces rapidly deployed to their objectives, captured the PDF headquarters and Noriega, rescued detained Americans and dismantled hostile forces.

“Urgent Fury exhibited the capability of the MAGTF in conducting contingency operations …, ” said Allison in an article he published previously on Grenada. “It turned on a dime, diverted to execute a complex amphibious assault on a hostile shore in a matter of days … Marine aviation proved a significant enabler to the Marines’ overall success.”


Cherry Point’s Devil Dog Gym Begins New Year With New Gear

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. — To start off the new year the Devil Dog Gym replaced its old equipment with almost a quarter of a million dollars worth of new machines. Before the replacement the machines looked tattered and abused after years of wear-and-tear by constant use from Marines and Sailors at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.

“In one day we could have anywhere up to 500 people come in,” said Angel Velez, a recreational assistant at the Devil Dog Gym. “In a week we could get up to 3,500 people come in and use all of these machines. With such a high use it was more economical to replace the equipment than to have someone coming in to fix them all the time.”

Cardio equipment from the cardio room and weight equipment from the weight room was replaced by new, more advanced machines.

“Our most used equipment is in the cardio room,” said Velez. “People aren’t going to stay on one machine in the weight room for 30 minutes, but in the cardio room people would be on an elliptical or the treadmills for long periods of time causing a lot of wear-and-tear on the machines.”

Velez also stated that some of the other problematic machines were the treadmills and the pulley system equipment, like the cable crossover. Constant use by the air station personnel caused the ropes to break regularly.

“Broken equipment wastes people’s time,” said Velez. “If there are two machines and one is being worked on everyone else has to wait. What didn’t get replaced was the equipment, that people had poured blood and sweat into for years and didn’t want us to let go.”

“I come to the gym every day,” said Cpl. Lyssa Bucklew, an aircraft maintenance administration specialist with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366. “Before everything got replaced a lot of the equipment broke easily and you always had to wait for stations. Now there’re a lot more stations and a lot less wait.”

Bucklew also said that the new equipment will create a better appearance overall.

“There’s a lot more machines per muscle group,” said Pfc. Kristian Palmer, an aircraft maintenance administration specialist with HMH-366. “I like how you don’t have to wait for everything now. Once I get into a workout rhythm I don’t like to stop.”

The service members at the gym seemed both pleased and satisfied with the new equipment but had some suggestions about what they themselves would add. “They need to put in a smoothie machine for protein shakes and stuff like that,” said Bucklew.

Velez said that with the approximately 50 new pieces of equipment the gym is back to full working order. He also said that most of the Marines and Sailors favored the new pulley machines and that the complaints that they had been getting for years about equipment are all but gone now.

Lance Cpl. Glen E. Santy , Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point


Best Selling Author Supports Marine Corps Toys For Tots

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. — As the holidays approach, Marine Corps Reserves begin collecting donations for the 2011 Toys for Tots Campaign.

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point started their Toys for Tots campaign with a huge kickoff event at the station theater, Nov. 12. Residents from Cherry Point and the local community lined up early in the morning to give an unwrapped new toy to the Toys for Tots organization and get their copy of Nicholas Sparks’ new book, “The Best of Me.” Upon purchasing the book they waited for their group to be called to meet the famous author and get him to sign their book.

Sparks is a New Bern native and has written several best-sellers including The Notebook, Dear John, A Walk to Remember, and Message in a Bottle, all of which have been adapted into major motion picture hits.

“Toys for Tots is an amazing program that has helped thousands of people a year,” said Sparks. “I first learned about this program when I meet my father-in-law more than 20 years ago. He is a Marine and so is my brother-in-law and they both have worked closely with the program.”

Sparks said he and his wife have donated to the Toys for Tots program since they married.

“I believed in this program from the beginning,” said Sparks.
“I have donated to this program since before I was an author. Being here at Cherry Point helping promote Toys for Tots is a huge honor.”

A Giant Of Marine Aviation


The new headquarters building stands as a permanent reminder to all Marines of the example set by the Marine Aviator, Gen. Christian F. Schilt, for whom the building is now named. He was a pioneer in Marine Aviation who helped lay the foundation for modern Marine aviation through sheer flying skill and intimate knowledge of aircraft capabilities.

“General Davis, the commanding general of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, and I got together and decided to nominate Gen. Schilt for this building,” said Col. Philip J. Zimmerman, commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.

Zimmerman also mentioned Brie Lehew, Cherry Point historian, was instrumental in the decision to name the building after Schilt.

“Not only because of his tremendous contributions to Marine Aviation, but also because of his development of aviation in support of ground forces. Those same strategies and concepts are being used today in Afghanistan by II Marine Expeditionary Force and 2nd MAW.”

Schilt enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War I and was assigned to the 1st Marine Aeronautical Company at Ponta Delgada, Azores. The company patrolled the seas for German U-Boats and was the first American aviation unit to serve overseas. The young Schilt, impressed by the aircraft, entered flight training when he returned to the United States and earned his wings in 1919.

According to Lehew, between the World Wars, the Banana Wars were raging and Schilt was sent to provide air support for Marines fighting in Caribbean and Central American countries. Here, he helped develop dive bombing techniques, performed the first ever casualty evacuation and was awarded the Medal of Honor.

According to his citation, his action took almost superhuman skill to accomplish.

Marines were fighting rebels in the Nicaraguan town of Quilali and were taking casualties. Schilt flew in an O2U-1 Corsair biplane, landed on a rough street while the town was burning down and with enemy fire directed at his fragile aircraft. Once in, he unloaded needed supplies and replacements while wounded were loaded aboard the aircraft. Schilt repeated this feat ten times, evacuating 18 Marines, delivering 1,400 pounds of supplies and dropping off a new officer to take charge of the battle. At least three of the 18 Marines would have died not for Schilt.

With this feat and in flight competitions, Schilt proved himself an incredible pilot. He was named Chief Test Pilot at the Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, Pa. He helped develop the aircraft Naval and Marine Aviation would use for World War II. He would fly any aircraft, given the chance. According to official documents, Schilt flew at least 218 aircraft and helicopters throughout his 40-year career.

During World War II, he held several important positions. First, he was assigned to the American Embassy in England, observing the British Royal Air Force in battle. Afterward, he was assigned to 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and sent to Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands. His next home front tour was as the second commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. He oversaw the massive expansion of the then new air station which provided training for Marine pilots. Today, 81 buildings constructed during his tenure are still standing.

His tour at Cherry Point continued when he was promoted to brigadier general and served as chief of staff and commanding general of 9th MAW, a World War II unit that trained pilots for combat. At the time, 9th MAW had 20,000 or more Marines aboard Cherry Point and outlying fields. In February of 1945, he returned to the Pacific and took command of 2nd MAW in October, which was stationed on Okinawa at the time.

Schilt returned stateside after commanding 2nd MAW but was back at the front with 1st MAW when the Korean War broke out in 1951. There, he won the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal for providing United Nations forces with “outstanding tactical air support.” Schilt was credited with integrating 1st MAW into the “Far East Air Forces interdiction program by implementing highly efficient fighter bomber, night intruder and night interdiction operations against enemy support missions,” in addition to other important functions. To celebrate the Marine Corps birthday that year, he led an 85 aircraft strike against the North Koreans.

After fighting in Korea, Schilt became the director of aviation for the Marine Corps and retired from that position as a four star general in 1957.

“It is often said that we stand on the shoulders of giants,” said Kit Hart, the director of combat camera. “His was a career of firsts that established him as a legendary pilot in his own day and who, over the course of that career, did as much or more for Marine Aviation than anyone. Enlisting as a private and advancing to the rank of general, he was a true pioneer, instrumental in the development of the close air support tactics that are still the mission of Marine Corps Aviation today.”

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