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Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

MCAS Iwakuni is a mission-ready air station, capable of providing continuous base-operating support for tenant organizations and follow-on U.S. and allied forces during training, combat or contingency (HA/DR) operations throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific region.
MALS-12 provides ground support for VMFA-122 during Exercise Max Thunder

By Lance Cpl. Luis Ramirez | | April 9, 2014

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GWANGJU AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 provided ordnance, supply and personnel to assist Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 in the endeavors focused on by Exercise Max Thunder 14-1 aboard Gwangju Air Base, Republic of Korea.    

Max Thunder is a semi-annual training event consisting of composite and coalition flight training between the U.S. military and the Republic of Korea Air Force.

Ordnancemen with MALS-12 provided the inert ordnance fired during the exercise, including MK-76 practice bombs for air-to-ground exercises and laser guided training rounds to train in close air support missions.

“VFMA-122 may not have the organic qualifications to transport ordnance, but that does not impede the quality of work that they do, it just presents MALS-12 the opportunity to assist and train with our squadron’s counter parts.” said Sgt. Matthew Ehler, the quality assurance and safety observation officer with MALS-12 for MT 14-1.

While ordnance Marines provided support on the ground, supply Marines were busy ensuring VMFA-122 received mission essential equipment, such as liquid oxygen, generators and ordnance slated to be used. Each supply Marine participating in MT 14-1 received special training on how to operate the stand alone material management system or SAMMS.

The muscle behind MALS-12 came from ground support equipment Marines. The assets GSE provided in support of MT 14-1 included: self-driven weapons loaders to support ordnance operations of MALS-12; mobile electric power plants which support VMFA-122 avionic operations; and hydraulic generators which support VMFA-122 airframes.

“There is no air support without ground support,” said Gunnery Sgt. John Kinghton, the MALS-12 staff noncommissioned officer in charge for MT 14-1. “The combined support package MALS-12 provides is a tailored element of support that is vital to VMFA-122 while operating in a deployed environment.”

Lt. Col. Douglas Dewolfe, the commanding officer of VMFA-122, said that he is grateful of the backing that MALS-12 is showing and expressed his thanks for their support. Dewolfe said VMFA-122 is operating at full capacity thanks to MALS-12 and is looking forward to seeing great things from both squadrons.
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