News: MALS-12 supports VMFA-122 during RIMPAC 2014
Story by Lance Cpl. Alissa Schuning
HONOLULU - Twenty-one Marines with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 accompanied Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 to Marine Corps Base Hawaii for Rim of the Pacific Exercise 2014 and unit level training.
Rim of the Pacific is a multinational maritime exercise that provides a unique training opportunity which helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of the sea lanes and security of the world’s oceans.
MALS-12, stationed aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, provides aviation logistics expertise and other supporting materials to Marine Aircraft Group 12, who VMFA-122 currently falls under as part of the unit deployment program.
“We are here to provide outstanding logistical support for (VMFA-122) while they are in Hawaii,” said Marine 1st Lt. Charles Quattrochi, detachment officer-in-charge with MALS-12. “Having MALS-12 support increases the squadron’s overall capabilities.”
The MALS-12 Marines cover six military occupational specialties essential to the squadron, said Quattrochi.
“A big part of what we do is providing parts for the squadron, but we also support by providing technical expertise the squadron doesn’t have,” said Quattrochi. “We have a non-destructive inspection technician who has a unique qualification and capability. He can inspect an aircraft to see if there are invisible cracks in a part, giving us the ability to predict if it will break down. We also have the power plant Marines, who have a more in-depth knowledge of the engine itself and the individual components.”
MALS-12 ordnance also came with the squadron to provide intermediate level support.
“The ordnance with VMFA-122 is operational level, they are not qualified to build or maintain any type of ordnance,” said Marine Sgt. Jonathan Kuster, an F/A-18 ordnance system technician with MALS-12. “If they need something, they issue a request. Then we build it, deliver it to them and they install it on the jet.”
With live ordnance being essential to the mission of VMFA-122 during RIMPAC 2014, MALS-12 ordnance becomes indispensable, said Kuster.
The MALS-12 Marines provide outstanding support by using their individual expertise, said Quattrochi.
“If a problem arises, they are very quick to get it fixed,” said Quattrochi. “If it is outside of their expertise, they will venture down different avenues until they solve the issue. They always think outside the box to get the job done.”