MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII --
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 arrived aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii to participate in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2014, June 25.
Rim of the Pacific is the world’s largest multinational maritime exercise hosted by the U.S. Pacific Fleet and provides realistic training that increases participants’ abilities to plan, communicate and conduct complex maritime operations.
This year’s RIMPAC consists of 23 nations, 49 surface ships, six submarines, and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel.
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122, currently a part of the Unit Deployment Program with Marine Aircraft Group 12 based out of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, is scheduled to be a part of the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force during the exercise.
“Our primary mission is to support the Marine Corps by conducting close air support for the special purpose MAGTF that has been formed for this exercise,” said Lt. Col. Douglas DeWolfe, commanding officer of VMFA-122.
During RIMPAC 2014, the MCWL is slated to conduct Enhanced Marine Air Ground Task Force Operations and an Advanced Warfighting Experiment to evaluate the hypothesis that if a SP-MAGTF is properly trained, organized and equipped, it will serve as the Geographic Combatant Commander’s force of choice for immediate crisis response across the range of military operations.
“As an F/A-18 squadron, we don’t get a lot of chances to work with Marine Expeditionary Units or MAGTF’s,” said Maj. Dail T. Fields, operations officer with VMFA-122. “So we are really excited to be out here and provide some close air support.”
Throughout the exercise, VMFA-122 plans to get back to their bread and butter, which is close air support and working with the service members on the ground, said DeWolfe.
“I can’t tell you how great it is when you’re on the radio with the guys on the ground and dropping live ordnance for them,” said Fields. “It’s always stressful when you are dropping live bombs, so this a great experience and training opportunity.”
With RIMPAC being the largest exercise VMFA-122 has participated in, DeWolfe said he believes his squadron will continue to impress their peers and superiors.
“These Marines and Sailors work hard and are professional in all that they do,” said DeWolfe. “They will rise to the occasion and exceed expectations.”