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News > Marine HMH-769 squadron begins deactivation process
Marine HMH-769 squadron begins deactivation process

Posted 1/24/2008   Updated 1/24/2008 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Julius Delos Reyes
95th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

1/24/2008 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Marine Aircraft Group 46 Detachment Bravo is scheduled to deactivate its Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 769 in the late summer as part of the 2007 Marine Corps Aviation Plan. 

The aviation plan is a consolidated action plan that provides an overview of Marine aviation total force organization, aviation readiness and planned organization aircraft and equipment transitions over the next 10-year period. 

"Ultimately, they are going to make a smaller force that will provide the same mission but less aircraft and people," said Sgt. Maj. Michael Brookman, MAG 46 Det. B's highest enlisted Marine. "They are trying to get the aircraft either to the active forces or to the retirement yard." 

MAG 46 Det. B includes HMH-769 and Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 764. HMH-769 is responsible for CH-53E Super Stallion transport helicopters, while HMH-764 manages CH-46E Sea Knight transport helicopters. 

HMH-769 is scheduled to ship out its CH-53 helicopters gradually, said Lt. Col. Thomas McCarthy, MAG 46 Det. B commanding officer. About 65 reservists and 90 active-duty Marines within the squadron will be impacted by the deactivation.

"The (squadron has) already started moving some of its aircraft," Colonel McCarthy said. "By the end of July, all of the CH-53 aircraft will be gone from Edwards." 

The MAG 46 Det. B will be focusing on helping HMH-769 with its equipment and personnel during August and September time frame, he said. 

"As far as the active-duty Marines, they will begin to move this summer wherever they are needed," Colonel McCarthy said. "Some of them have already moved, and we are not receiving replacements." 

This is just another permanent change of station move for the active-duty Marines, he said. The ones who are impacted the most with this transition are the reservists. 

For the Marine reservists, some will be transferred to the HMH-764 squadron, Colonel McCarthy said. They also have the option to get out of the Reserves, find another military occupational specialty or transfer to another unit. 

Meanwhile, MAG 46 Det. B here will continue to perform its function, Sergeant Major Brookman said. 

"The Detachment Bravo's mission is to provide administration and supply support," he said. "We still have one squadron here, so our role is not going to change." 

The HMH-769 deactivation will also mean a reduction of people within the detachment since they will be only be focusing on HMH-764, Sergeant Major Brookman said.  

"Hopefully, this is going to be a smooth process," he said. "We have been planning this deactivation for about a year now. It is a lot of work to get from today until the HMH-769 deactivates."

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